Sarge steps up in reshuffle

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Local copper: Jon Bisset

A local copper’s plodding a new beat after a temporary reshuffle at the top.

Sergeant Jon Bisset’s stepping up while long-term Queenstowner senior sergeant John Fookes travels for eight months.

Bisset, who steps in as acting senior sergeant, is getting to grips with his new crime prevention role.

A cop for 12 years, he moved to Queenstown two years ago after a stint as an armed offenders squad dog handler.

The role’s different to what he’s used to – “I have always worked in response so this is quite a different perspective.”

The biggest challenges facing Queenstown’s girls and boys in blue are roading and alcohol-related crimes.

An influx of visitors over Christmas usually leads to more incidents.

Bisset’s charged with deploying officers across the district – assessing where they are needed most.

“Part of prevention is getting in front of it – we do what we can to be in the right place at the right time.”

That includes central hotspots like the Village Green, Queenstown Gardens and the waterfront, particularly after Crate Day.

“If there are people consuming large quantities of alcohol in a public place then potentially it can make people feel unsafe.

“We don’t want to be the fun police but we do want everyone to be safe. We do monitor it, we will be out patrolling and taking enforcement action where we need to. Ultimately we want everyone to look after themselves.”

The booze message isn’t new but worth repeating, he says.

“Look after your mates while they are consuming alcohol, not [just] after they have drunk too much.”

The annual New Year’s liquor ban in Queenstown, Frankton and Arrowtown is in place from December 27 to January 6.

louises@scene.co.nz