Police minister Paula Bennett has announced that $1.8 million will be made available for robbery prevention at dairies, superettes and small local businesses.
Businesses assessed as being at high risk of violent robberies will have the opportunity to apply for co-funding to support the purchase of panic and high volume interior alarms, DNA spray, fog cannons and time safes, she said.
The money comes from the Justice Sector Fund and will be aimed specifically at small family or individually-owned businesses at risk that require financial assistance to install better security measures.
“Police will fund up to 50 per cent of the cost of the security measures. In some exceptional circumstances, they may pay a larger share. It’s expected all of the 500-600 businesses considered high risk will be eligible for co-funding.”
Shop owners will also be offered advice on how altering the layout of their store could make them feel safer.
Over the past three months, police officers in Auckland have visited more than 1000 businesses to discuss their concerns and provide prevention advice, as well as carrying out crime prevention seminars and increasing the number of officers in high-risk areas.
“We’ve listened to the concerns of shopkeepers, that’s why we’ve put aside this money to be used for co-funding for a range of security and prevention measures,” said Mrs Bennett.
“We’re taking this issue seriously. We want to stop these awful crimes from happening to innocent victims in the first place and make sure these cowards are off the streets.”
This funding follows the start of ‘There’s nothing good about stolen goods’ – a month-long police campaign this June targeting businesses or individuals receiving stolen property from robberies.
Rewards have been offered through Crimestoppers for those who provide information which leads to a successful prosecution.