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Boys in blue . . . Constable Adam Murray from Amberley (L) and Constable Josh Clauson (Culverden) chat with the Maxwells from Broomfield on the second day of the Hawarden Ewe Fair as part of the police "If you need help, give me a whistle" campaign launched at the end of last year. PHOTO: AMANDA BOWES

By AMANDA BOWES

The Hawarden Ewe fair not only attracted buyers and vendors to the sale last Friday, but also the local constabulary.

Three rural police officers chatted with the public as part of the “If you need a hand, give us a whistle” campaign, a project designed to stamp out rural crime.

An initiative between Rural Support Trust, Hazlett Rural and Police was rolled out late last year in North Canterbury, where Police integrate with the public at events such as on farm sales, stock sales, clearing sales or other rural events, as was done in the not too distant past.

At the Hawarden Ewe fair, police were giving out packs which included a fold up fire arms safety pamphlet, a blue shepherd’s whistle and a flier for the Canterbury District Empathy Project.

Senior Constable Bill Parker, from the Amberley Police said it had been a good day chatting with farmers and others at the ewe fair. Along with Constable Josh Clauson, from Culverden Police and Constable Adam Murray from Amberley, the three were kept busy as people stopped for a chat.

Farmers facing daily challenges of running their businesses, can also be under stress from rural crime – theft of farm machinery, fuel and stock and other stressors like farm accidents, mental health and suicide.

Senior Constable Craig Newman who has brought about the initiative, wants to build trust between rural people and the police, so they can work as a combined force and help each other in times of adversity.

The campaign has followed on from the popular Police tractor which has been prominent at A&P shows and field days.

With Police and rural people working together, it is hoped the general well being of the rural community will be enhanced and North Canterbury will be an even better place to live, work and play.