Kawakawa people are sceptical about a promise to raise police profile in town despite staff cuts.
Two of Kawakawa's police officers have been moved to Kerikeri and residents say youth crime is out of control.
The police told a public meeting this week officers would walk the main street in future to stop teenagers stealing from local businesses and intimidating people.
Kawakawa Business Association president Richard Dooley says that will be a big ask with just four officers.
He says to achieve the presence the police used to have in town they need six staff, to compensate for secondments and leave.
The police say patrols from Kerikeri can boost their presence in Kawakawa.