Wednesday, 12 June 2013 - 5:26pm |
National News

Waikato Police pleased with Fieldays crowd but concerned about roads

2 min read

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The introduction of new technology has not only attracted a lot of public interest but prevented crime from happening at the 45th annual National Fieldays outside Hamilton today.

Western Waikato Area Commander, Inspector Paul Carpenter, said officers were very pleased with the large crowd who had visited the Mystery Creek venue today but if there was one thing Police were asking people to do was exercise a bit of patience out on the roads going to and from Fieldays.

"Half an hour into today's event there had already been 11,000 people through the gates and we're not sure of the total number for today but with the fine weather its guaranteed to have been large.

"When you consider the thousands of visitors and exhibitors all have to use the same roads to get home tonight then head back tomorrow then its quite a strain on the rural roading network that services Mystery Creek."

Mr Carpenter said Police had analysed previous problem areas and assigned points-men to work with traffic management staff at each one but the crucial thing required was patience.

"There was a minor crash this morning attended by Police and ambulance staff and the last thing we want is a repeat of that tonight, tomorrow or on following days.

"So just remember to watch your following distances, allow yourself plenty of time to get to and from the event and that way we'll all be able to enjoy what has gone from a rural event to one of the largest family orientated events in the country."

While the roads have given some cause for concern a real positive for officers policing the event has been the benefit of having new equipment provided under the Police's national mobility roll-out available.

Officer in charge of policing Fieldays, Sergeant Gordon Grantham, said new items such as i-Pads and i-Phones had made a real difference in regards to preventing crime.

"An example of this was this morning when officers patrolling the car parks found a number of cars unlocked, some with their windows left down.

"Using their new devices the officers were able to query who the owners of the vehicles were, find a contact number and speak to them enabling the owners to come back and secure their vehicles before they were the victim of theft, so there's a real time value to having such devices at hand."

Mr Grantham said the i-Pads and i-Phones were just some of the new items used by Police on display at site E32 with others including Automatic Number Plate Recognition, the Crime Reporting Line, Communication Centres, vehicles, firearms and the ever popular Police horse mounted patrol.


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