City police patrols to cut antisocial activity extend their area
Extra police officers on patrol in Hamilton to cut down on crime and antisocial behaviour are to extend their coverage of the city, it was announced yesterday.
Two officers will patrol the city four hours a day, five days a week, outside their present North Hamilton beat to clamp down on public nuisances.
Charles Gosling, the Mayor of Hamilton, said the city could not allow “a tiny, dysfunctional part of our society to dictate the health and wellbeing of our capital”.
He highlighted alcohol consumption in public and “persistent, aggressive begging, the bullying tactics of car washers to women, and relieving oneself in public” as problems complained about by businesses and city residents.
The extra “antisocial behaviour patrols” will cover areas including Front Street, Reid Street and Church Street.
Mr Gosling said the North Hamilton area had experienced a drop in crime and antisocial behaviour since the extra patrols began.
He emphasised warnings, rather than arrests, were the preferred way to tackle problems and that officers would be “supportive” of the homeless population in the city.
Mr Gosling said: “The community response to the programme has been overwhelmingly positive.
“The police officers continuously interact with business owners, merchants and area residents who have expressed appreciation at the continued presence of police.
“The presence of the officers not only discourages antisocial behaviour and criminal activity, but it also provides targeted enforcement of parking violations and assists with identifying fly tipping offenders – issues which area residents have told us are particularly vexing.”
Mr Gosling said extra police patrols, which have cost the city $57,000 since they started in 2020, were extended last July.
He added the City had budgeted an extra $54,000 for their continuation.
Police officers have delivered 2,148 hours of patrols in North Hamilton since the scheme started.
Officers have issued 1,150 parking tickets and 18 traffic tickets, and nine arrests have been made.
Mr Gosling said police would also “encourage and educate bars and restaurants” on the best ways to use their own security staff to deal with “aggressive individuals”.
Chief Inspector Alex Rollin said the North Hamilton patrols were “a model for success”.
He added: “We’re proud of the work done and that continues to be done in that area.”
The times of the patrols are varied and the officers work with the city’s assigned Parish Constable.