Sunday, May 19, 2024

Flaxmere Assist celebrates six years on the streets

Hastings District Council has celebrated the sixth birthday of Flaxmere Assist, the Council’s street patrol initiative.

It’s been almost 10 years since the purple-clad City Assist patrols first started walking Hastings’ city central streets, inspired by a similar initiative being run in Rotorua.

The difference they were making in Hastings prompted the call for an Assist branch to operate in Flaxmere, and six years on they are now part of the fabric of the local community, said Hastings Mayor, Sandra Hazlehurst.

“I remember the day we added Flaxmere Assist knowing it was important to have City Assist across the district,” the Mayor said.

“Through their work and their partnerships with the police and other agencies, we’ve seen great results in Hastings city centre and Flaxmere – these amazing guys look after those who are most vulnerable and help people feel safe.

“We are proud of the difference they are making and I thank the whole team for their tireless work. It’s Fabulous Flaxmere’s time and it’s exciting to have our Flaxmere Assist team being a part of that.”

Hawke’s Bay Police Inspector Marty James acknowledged the work the team had been doing over a long period of time, both in Hastings and Flaxmere.

“Over the past six years the Flaxmere Assist team has been so proactive, it’s a huge help to us and it’s great to be on this journey together,” he said.

City and Flaxmere Assist senior team member, Herman Godinet said the success of the programme was due to it being based on people dealing with people.

“The main qualifications to do this work are to be able to connect with people and have a desire to serve the community,” he said.

“We are proud of what we have achieved in partnership with the police – from starting as a trial almost 10 years ago, we could not have imagined what it would become.”

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