Two Northland communities are holding public meetings on Thursday evening to air complaints about police staffing levels.
Kawakawa and Kaitaia residents say youth crime, in particular, has increased as police become less visible in their towns.
In Kawakawa, the local business association says the positions of sergeant and watch-house keeper have disappeared in recent weeks.
Association president Richard Duley says many people have given up trying to report crime because they get no answer when they ring police.
Kaitaia retailer Ian Walker says he had three burglaries this summer, all committed by young people.
Mr Walker says Kaitaia officers he has spoken to are also frustrated at the lack of staff available.
Senior police officers will attend the meetings at the Kawakawa and Kaitaia fire stations.