1 May 2017

Police told to target offenders not shopkeepers

7:03 am on 1 May 2017

CCTV cameras and making changes to lighting and shop layout are the best ways to stop violent robberies and attacks on shop owners, Auckland police say.

Small business owners in Auckland are calling for better police protection against what they say is rising violent crime.

Small business owners in Auckland are calling for better police protection against what they say is rising violent crime. Photo: RNZ / Anusha Bradley

Hundreds of migrant shopkeepers marched in South Auckland yesterday calling for more police and tougher laws to stop what they describe as rising violent crime against them.

Inspector Nga-Wati Chaplow from Counties Manukau Police said its crime prevention programme, Operation Dukan, had already proved to be successful.

Inspector Nga-Wati Chaplow said Operation Dukan had already proved to be successful.

Inspector Nga-Wati Chaplow. Photo: Supplied

"There was a store, an example in Manurewa, which we engaged with three and a half years ago. They made changes to the layout of their shop and they haven't been victimised since so these things actually do work."

The third round of Operation Dukan was launched earlier this month with a team of 20 Hindi and Punjabi-speaking officers providing advice to shop owners on how to prevent thefts.

Rally organiser and Indian community leader Sunny Kaushal said prevention programmes were not enough.

Police needed to target the offenders, not the shopkeepers, to ensure more people were not hurt or killed while at work, he said.

More police patrols were needed and closed police stations should be re-opened, he said.

But Inspector Chaplow disagreed more officers were the solution.

"We're doing the best we can. We are always searching for ways to improve our service. But Operation Dukan is certainly the engagement programme currently."

Mr Chaplow said while more officers might help, they were not short-staffed.