New top cop

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By Mick Jensen

Ashburton’s new top policeman has been a frontline operator for much of his 20 years in the force, and that hands-on approach will continue in his new role.

Leigh Jenkins started as the new senior sergeant for the Mid Canterbury supervisory area last week.

He had been a detective at the Ashburton station since 2011 and a detective sergeant for the last two years.

Senior Sergeant Jenkins said his role involved mentoring new and current staff, and also community liaison, which included contact with the likes of community support groups, schools, agency partners and Ashburton council.

“I want to know what’s going on in the district.

“I urge the community to report crimes through Crimestoppers, or via the station, because we need to understand and complete the pieces of the local crime puzzle.”

He said local police numbers were also set to rise.

There are three detectives and that would rise to five.

He said more sergeants would also be trained at a supervisory level.

More and better trained staff would mean more efficiencies in the force and quicker crime completion rates.

Senior Sergeant Jenkins said he had lived in the district since 2011 and enjoyed the outdoors lifestyle, including fishing, tramping, skiing and mountain biking.

It was important, he believed, to live in the area where he worked.

“I’ve been a front line operator for more than 16 years, and that hands-on approach won’t change too much in my new role.”

He joined the police in 1999 and first worked in South Auckland.

He worked in CIB in Auckland and Christchurch and now manages 30 staff in Mid Canterbury.