Last week’s Coffee with a Cop which was held at the Yamba Backpackers, was an opportunity for the Lower River community to discuss issues concerning them, with the local police over a cuppa. Image: Lynne Mowbray
The Coffs/Clarence Local Area Command [LAC] has hosted its fourth successful ‘Coffee with a Cop’ event, which took place at the Yamba Backpackers, on Thursday last week.
‘Coffee with a cop’ gives the community a chance to sit and have a free cup of coffee and a chat with their local police officer and discuss issues concerning them.
The event provides an opportunity for the police to be more accessible to the local community, in a neutral environment external to the local police station.
Around nine officers from the LAC mingled and chatted with those who attended, which resulted in positive feedback from the Yamba community.
Coffs/Clarence Local Area Commander, Superintendent Mark Holahan who attended Thursday’s Coffee with a Cop, said that the event gives the police an opportunity to listen to the concerns from members of the community.
“Some of their concerns we can work through at the time and other concerns we take away and get back to them later,” Supt Holahan said.
“We are able to get feedback as to how the community see our policing style and how they see crime in their communities and whether they feel safe or not, which is really important to us.
“Due to current security levels at the police stations, we have glass in front of us now and a whole range of issues that isolate us a bit, but this (event) gives us the opportunity to sit down with people in a more relaxed atmosphere and just listen to what they have to say.
“I hope we get some feedback on how we’re performing and how people feel in their community. Part of our role is to make people safe and secure; it’s our primary role.
“We need to know how the police at Yamba and the Lower River are going and how people feel in those communities.
“I want people, at anytime they engage with a police officer, to have a positive engagement and they should walk away with the information that they need and feeling good about their local police.”
One of the biggest criticisms which the police receive is that their local station is not manned around the clock.
“Most people would say that we’re not open 24 hours, but the reality is we can’t do that,” Supt Holahan said.
“It’s more important for us to have our officers out walking around or driving around preventing crime at the right time in the right location rather than occupying a station waiting for someone who may come in.”