2007 News Archive

CPNZ position on Guardian Angels has not changed

5 September 2007

With the establishment of an Auckland Central Business District Guardian Angels patrol featured on Campbell Live on TV3 last night, Community Patrols of New Zealand chairperson Ian Pilbrow says it is timely to remind the public of the position that CPNZ took in February 2006 when the first Guardian Angels patrol was established in Waitakere.

Guardian Angels are a United States-based community organisation that patrols public transport, provides violence prevention seminars and anti-bullying programmes in schools. The organisation's NZ National Director is Andy "Chieftain" Cawston. CPNZ has previously met with Mr Cawston, however disagree with Mr Cawston's suggestion that the Guardian Angels are prepared to use force to detain offenders or deter criminal activity. Ian says this is not how community patrols operate and in the longer term is unlikely to find favour with either the police or community. CPNZ reiterates that the role of a community patroller is to assist police by acting as "eyes and ears" in local communities and not to confront offenders. That is a police role community patrols are not trained or authorised in law to do.

Ian says that in the last eighteen months about 20 new community patrols have been established, taking the number to over 90, and the number of community patrollers has increased from approximately 3,000 to nearly 4,000.

Ian also said he wanted to clarify that there is absolutely no connection between the Porirua Community Guardians and the Guardian Angels apart from the use of the word guardian. The Porirua Community Guardians are an established and well respected community patrol that does a lot of good work in their community. They are also a finalist in the 2007 NZ Safety and Injury Prevention Awards.