Police in Northland have promised to put officers back on the beat in Kawakawa, after hearing from a frustrated crowd at a public meeting.
Shopkeepers and residents told police representatives on Thursday night that theft, intimidation, abuse and graffiti had all increased since the number of officers in the town shrank from six to four.
Some said they had given up reporting crime because their calls to the station go unanswered.
Inspector Justin Rogers said he will sort out the phone problem and see that officers actually walk the main street, rather than drive through.
Mr Rogers said the Kawakawa station will be back up to strength shortly with a sergeant and four officers, including someone to answer the phones.