Councillors approved the trial at last Tuesday’s meeting.
In March, the council requested a report be provided on options to modify the Wilson Security patrol contract so that peak period patrol cars could have two officers in at least one vehicle to improve their ability to respond.
‘Under the current arrangement, which has operated since the commencement of that patrol (April 2010), the City is divided into four principal zones and there is a level of coverage that varies from a single vehicle covering two zones at very low incident times in the week to a vehicle operating in each separate zone,’ corporate services director Mike Tidy said at the council briefing.
‘Then we have an extra zone five which is the city centre where we have an extra vehicle operating Thursday and Saturday nights.’
He said while there had been a decline in antisocial behaviour and noise complaints over the past four years, there was an increase in responses to do with alarms, City maintenance and customer request issues.
He added there were some areas between Monday and Thursday where patrol hours were high with few incidents while on Saturdays and Sundays there were a lot of incidents for the patrol hours.
The report contained five options ” three looked at different combinations of reallocating resources, including taking some for Mondays and Thursdays and moving them to Saturdays and Sundays, one to provide additional funding for extra patrols and one to not making any changes.
‘The option recommended is to provide some funding for an additional patrol,’ he said.
‘Issues with moving resources from another area is while the statistics do suggest there are patrol hours being done for a relatively low number of incidents, it’s a little hard to predict what might happen if those resources were actually taken away and how that might impact those areas.’
The recommendation was for option four to trial adding City Watch officers for half shifts (six hours) on weekends, which would cost about $37,500.
At the council meeting, Mayor Troy Pickard moved an alternate recommendation to trial option two, which would reduce the night shift on Mondays and Thursdays to two patrols each covering two zones and stopping the Thursday zone five patrol.
This would allow for an extra City Watch officer for 9.5-hour two-person patrols on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights across designated zones.
‘Option two does not cost any money so I’d like to think we’re improving the service for our community at no additional cost,’ Mr Pickard said.