Twenty-five years ago, community police hubs set up around Ashburton closed.
Manned by police staff and volunteers, they were set up at specialised sites in the Allenton and Tinwald shopping centres, in a since-demolished cottage next to the Netherby shopping centre and in the former i-Site building on East Street. They were a reassurance to the people and gave the police a community presence.
Volunteer Mid and South Canterbury Ashburton co-ordinator Dellwyn Moylan was one of the first intake of volunteer trainees to work in the police hubs. She was involved from 1991 until November 1995 when they wound up.
Each hub had a community police officer and a team of around 22 volunteers rostered to work. Among the community constables were Bob Jones, Tony Sands, Jim Soal, David Jones, Paul Baird and Royce Jamieson, and some of the volunteers helped out in other hubs. They were open Monday to Friday, from 10am to 4pm.
Dellwyn said the hubs were particularly popular with older residents who did not want to headquarters on Havelock Street but would rather share information with those in their communities.
There were a lot of inquiries, lost property reports and regular updates to neighbourhood support information as well as visits from people who just popped in for a friendly chat.
Dellwyn was 25 years younger when the hubs were wound up running them – and is organising a luncheon reunion of the community police officers and volunteers still around. It will coincide with International Volunteers Day on December 5.
She has reached out to around 17 people but is keen to hear from anyone who has been missed. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org