London born Bruce Jefford emigrated to New Zealand in 2001 and has lived in Queenstown for the last 18 years.
A retired police officer, hotelier and restauranteur Bruce now enjoys walking, playing golf and volunteering. He is an active member of Rotary, Abbeyfield House and since June 2017 has been the Chair of Queenstown Community Patrol when it was formed by the Queenstown Police Area Commander.
Bruce Jefford (left) and fellow Queenstown Community Patroller. Photo credit thanks to Tonia Kraakman, Tonia’s Photography.
“We are the eyes and ears for the police and we volunteer to keep the residents, businesses and world wide visitors to Queenstown safer.” Bruce says.
“There is huge satisfaction in knowing that we are there with extra eyes and ears and helping to alert the police to deal with a range of things that take place on the streets and in vehicles that might not be spotted if we were not volunteering.”
“Every patrol we carry out is a proud moment, but just 4 weeks ago we spotted a police wanted motor vehicle that we called the Queenstown Police to come to urgently. There was a huge amount of cannabis inside it valued at over $50,000 and resulted in the arrest of 2 men who were charged with possessing and supplying it, so we were responsible for that amount of cannabis not being sold to people”.
Like many organisations one of their challenges is recruiting enough volunteers. They have a strong, diverse and varied team, however are always on the look out for more patrollers so they can be even more effective in assisting the police.
If you can spare a minimum of four hours a month (but ideally a bit more!) at any time to suit they would love love to hear from you. Patrols take place in pairs and can operate at any time of the day or week to time to suit the volunteers, so it’s a very flexible role within in a great team.
Friday and Saturday nights from 10.00pm to 2.00am are naturally the busiest and when the police need volunteer eyes and ears the most, but volunteers are welcome outside this busy time.