Helping in the community

With Bayfair expanding, the shopping mall’s Police Information Centre is  looking for more volunteers to help cover shifts and ensure they can patrol the complex each and every day.

“We need heaps more volunteers,” says Bayfair Police Information Centre coordinator, Kerry Clare. “We have 33 at the moment but we really need more, especially with the mall opening up. We only have two on each shift at the moment and we’d like to have three.”

The morning shift runs from 10am to 1pm, with the afternoon patrol running from 1pm to 4pm, Monday to Friday. One shift, from 11am to 3pm, runs at weekends.

“We need more people on all of the shifts, and especially at weekends,” says Kerry.

“Their role is to assist people with general enquiries and direct them to police, or alert Bayfair security to any issues,” says Mount Maunganui Community Constable Kurt Waugh. “We’re not putting them in any risk situation. There’s nothing confrontational.”

Stan and Dawn Lilley are members of the patrol.

“We walk around wearing hi-viz jackets,” says Stan.

“We give directions, and people come to us to find out where certain shops are.

“We help with lost property, general knowledge, missing children and medical events.”

The soon-to-be completed Bayfair Shopping Centre’s $115 million redevelopment will present a new-look retail offer with an additional 50 specialty stores, including an expanded premium fashion mix, an alfresco dining precinct, a new concept Countdown supermarket, and the Bay of Plenty’s largest cinema complex - United Cinemas - featuring seven screens and more than 1300 seats.

Most of the new stores are opening this year, with the final stage planned to open in 2019.

The centre’s overall footprint will expand by 9000 square metres to a total of 42,000.

“The Police Information Centre provides a really good service,” says Kurt. “It’s definitely a voluntary role and they do a wonderful job. We also provide training days for the volunteers; the next one has a special guest speaker, and we are following it with a lunch.”

“We’re looking for people of all ages,” says Kerry.

“Of course they have to go through the normal police check. We have some retired, and some working part time in their 50s.  

“People need to be over-18 to be a volunteer.

“They can do as little or as many shifts as they want, even if it’s just one a month.

“It helps if you’re an older person, with meeting people, or it may be for someone who wants to give back to their community and help out. For anyone interested in joining the police force, it certainly helps on the CV if you’ve done voluntary work.

“We also get to have social get-togethers,” says Kerry.  

“I put on a massive Christmas party,” says Kurt, agreeing.  

Anyone interested in joining the Bayfair Police Information Centre can contact Kerry Clare on: 027 247 7403, or Constable Kurt Waugh at Mount Maunganui Police Station.