Work is well underway following the announcement earlier this year of $1.8 million for Police to fund security measures for certain retail outlets – specifically dairies and superettes – who are vulnerable to being targeted by people looking to commit aggravated robberies.
National Prevention Centre Manager Superintendent Eric Tibbott says this money will help deter crime from vulnerable business owners who meet certain criteria.
“We know that these business owners are feeling vulnerable and this is not acceptable,” he says. “We have seen some shocking footage of violence that people are experiencing and we are determined to help make people feel safe.”
Police has identified a number of businesses who may be eligible for co-funded prevention measures at their retail premises and frontline staff have been visiting these businesses to assess whether they require the high-tech solutions.
Police has engaged with a vendor to supply ultra-sonic sirens, fog cannons and DNA spray. Two concept stores with the three security options have been installed.
The criteria for co-funding focuses on a number of variables such as whether they have previously been targeted and their geographical location to recognised hot spots. Of the identified high risk premises, 54 businesses have tentatively agreed to opt in to the co-funding model. The vendor has the details of these locations and is working through the logistics of installing the equipment.
“This funding allows Police to expand on the good work already being done as part of Operation Dukan,” says Mr Tibbott. “Feel safe, be safe – this is our aim.”
Police will recommend personalised crime deterrent solutions which may be co-funded by the business and Police.
As well assessing eligibility for the technological solutions, staff have and will continue to provide evidence-based CPTED (crime prevention through environmental design) solutions with little to no cost to businesses.
Police are taking every opportunity to prevent harm and are also working with partners to keep our communities safe. Work being carried out over the last few months includes:
• Neighbourhood Support - Manurewa: Project Dairy – to support Police, dairy owners and the ethnic communities to create a safer working environment in dairies.
• In the coming weeks a pilot with Maori and Ethnic Wardens in South Auckland will start conducting high visibility patrols in areas that have been identified as being at risk of serious crime, including aggravated robberies.
• Police have visited nearly 1000 businesses across Tāmaki Makaurau as part of Operation Dukan, giving tailored crime prevention advice and building relationships with business owners.
• A seminar on crime prevention techniques and advice for retailers has been held in each of the three Tāmaki Makaurau districts and Northland as part of our ongoing work with retailers.
“I encourage all business owners to consider their security needs and what steps they can take to prevent themselves becoming victims of crime,” he says. “We will be proactively contacting the identified vulnerable businesses, however you do not have to wait for a visit from Police before you put safety measures in place.
“We have seen some retail outlets proactively taking steps to ensure their safety and the safety of their staff and these stores have seen a reduction in crime against their property.
“Anyone who isn’t sure what steps they can take is welcome to call their local Police station and a Police officer will happily come and visit them. We want people to feel safe in the community and will do all we can for that to happen.”
Note to media: Video footage of the fog cannon and ultra-sonic siren is available here.