It’s not often police shout you a coffee.
But that’s what happened last Tuesday at the Bogan Coffee Shop, which hosted the annual ‘Coffee with a Cop’.
A number of local police officers, including Nyngan Sergeant Tony Wood were at the cafe last Tuesday afternoon to chat with residents just about anything.
Sergeant Wood said the Nyngan Police support the state wide initiative, which gives community members a chance to see the lighter side of police, who they many only see when something has gone wrong.
“It’s a way of engaging with the community. A lot of the time we deal with victims of crime, or perpetrators of crime, and that’s a very small portion of the community,” Sergeant Wood said.
“We like to be available to a majority of the community that might see us day in or day out and might never speak to us, but want to speak to us.
“It just gives the community an opportunity to get to know us and raise any issues or ask any questions that they might have that they don’t feel comfortable at any other time,” he said.
This is the second ‘Coffee with a Cop’ hosted in Nyngan, and this year a number of community members took time out of their work day to head down to the Bogan Coffee Shop.
“We did get people take time out of their work day to come and have a chat with us, we had people passing through town we get some retired people for example, so it was successful.”
Sergeant Wood said that while they were on hand to talk just about anything, it is a good initiative to address concerns the local community have about perceptions of crime.
“We found with last year for example people would talk about perceptions of what’s occurring in town.
“People have perceptions that there is a lot of crime out there when that necessarily isn’t the case. Older people can tend to believe they are more likely to be victims of crime when statistical research shows that the opposite is the case. So this [initiative] gives us a chance to pass on that kind of information, but also address their concerns,” Sergeant Wood said.
However Sergeant Wood encourages the community that it doesn’t have to be ‘Coffee with a Cop’ day to strike up a conversation with local police.
“It doesn’t have to be ‘Coffee with a Cop’ day, if any member of the community ever wants to come down and have a chat to us.
“We often get people say ‘we know you’re busy and I didn’t want to bother you’, however we’re not always busy and we will always take time to have a chat with the good members of our community,” Sergeant Wood said.