Real life scene fit for a thriller film

Imagine a person, lying on the railway tracks with a fast moving train not very far away. No siren, shouting or any other form of gaining his attention would work, because he was drunk and hence totally out of action.

The Counties Manukau Police management orders Constable Aji Basra, recently recruited, to handle the emergency at a rail underpass.

Rushing to the scene, the young constable realised that there was little time to think or call for additional help. With a local train due any minute, he ran from his patrol car, pulled the man out of the track and saved his life.

“Nothing beats the feeling of doing a job to protect the lives of people. This was a good work story, which I hope is never repeated. People in such state (of drunkenness) and railway tracks do not mix,” he said at a recruitment campaign on September 27.

As we have reported in these columns earlier, the New Zealand Police are committed to increasing the diversity of their staff and continuously run recruitment campaigns that encourage people from various ethnicities and backgrounds to join the Police force.

Constable Basra’s story has been recreated as a street art installation at Kingsland Train Station with the support of KiwiRail, Auckland Transport and Veolia Transport. Such installations are a part of the on-going campaign.

KiwiRail Chief Executive Jim Quinn said that the artwork helped to highlight the issue of pedestrian safety around railway tracks.

“When people make bad choices around railway lines, it can lead to tragic results. Since 2000, 147 pedestrians have died on railway tracks in New Zealand. Every death or injury on the railway network is avoidable, if people recognise the hazards and obey the warning signs and signals. We are working hard with the Police and other rail safety partners to raise awareness,” he said.

The recruitment drive using untold extraordinary stories is to help Police attract young leaders with communication skills, empathy and problem solving abilities.

Such skills are crucial to frontline policing and conform to the policy of prevention of crime and victimisation that is at the heart of policing today.

New Zealand Police are keen to recruit about 240 frontline staff between now and June 2013. Their aim is to attract men and women in the 18-25 age group from the Asian, Pasifika and Maori ethnic groups.

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