The principal objective of the Police Kiosk volunteers has been and is to act as a link between the Police and the community.

During 1985,a spate of murders and other serious crimes occurred in Christchurch and throughout the country.At that time a public spirited private individual paid for a number of advertisements in local and national newspapers to promote public discussion on the matter in general.The theme of these advertisements was questioning how long society was going to tolerate the activities of criminals.Strong condemnation of criminal activity was clearly expressed. Readers were invited to complete a coupon for forwarding to local members of Parliament. The author of the advertisements,to defray his considerable expenses in running the advertising campaign,sought donations from the public.The response was overwhelming and not only were his costs covered but also a substantial surplus of funds eventuated.

Discussions were entered into with the Christchurch local authorities and other interested parties.The then Police Commissioner,John Jamieson,put forward some ideas on community policing that he had accumulated from his overseas study experience and the final outcome was the building and fitting-out of the Community Police Office in Cathedral Square.(Now commonly referred to as the Cathedral Square Police Kiosk).The cost of the building and its fittings was met almost entirely by donation.

Prior to opening,a Co-ordinator was appointed along with 60 volunteers.The Police were given the task of administering the office which was officially opened by the then Minister of Police,Dame Anne Hercus,on 27 August 1986.The office was staffed entirely by civilian volunteers working four hour shifts seven days a week.

Day to day operation
Kiosk volunteers,among other things, handle telephone enquiries that come in to the office,assist members of the public wanting to report lost or found property,provide directions to people and provide a watchful eye on the Cathedral Square precinct. A recent survey taken by volunteers working in the kiosk indicated the extent of general public reliance on the kiosk.

Monthly averages revealed that volunteers were fielding hundreds of telephone calls,completing documentation for considerable numbers of lost property incidences and providing the public with assistance in a wide-ranging number of situations.

Feedback from people who had reason to visit the kiosk clearly demonstrated that the high profile,easily accessible,Cathedral Square location of the building gave them a sense of security and allowed them to feel that the Square was an area they could venture into without the trepidation they may have previously experienced.

The Kiosk today has in excess of 120 volunteers who give of their time on a regular basis.26 shifts operate each week,from Monday to Sunday,with 2 volunteers on each shift.Many of these people have served the community in this way for over 10 years.