21 April 2024

Fog cannon funding for each shop in new package to tackle crime

Protests and safety concerns expressed by small retail businesses seems to have hastened today’s announcement of a significant crime prevention financial package by Government.

The multi-million dollar extended package to tackle retail crime and reoffending was announced by the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister of Police Chris Hipkins this afternoon.

Under the new fog cannon subsidy scheme set up, Government will provide $4000 for all small shops and dairies in New Zealand who want a fog cannon installed, with shops to pay the remaining balance.

The package also includes a new $4 million fund to support local councils in Auckland, Hamilton and Bay of Plenty with crime prevention programmes, and the existing $6 million Retail Crime Prevention fund eligibility is being expanded to include aggravated robberies, including those committed during the past 12 months.

Out of the $4 million fund, Hamilton Council will get $1 million for local crime prevention measures, to be matched dollar-by-dollar by the Council.

Prime Minister said it was ‘unacceptable’ that shop owners feel targeted.

“While youth crime is now much lower than in the past, the risks and harm from ram raids and other retail crime is concerning communities and creating victims,” Jacinda Ardern said.

“Shop owners and workers feel targeted. That’s unacceptable”.

“Funding of $4000 will be available for each shop who will be able to have the fog cannon installed through an approved supplier, meaning they can access them directly without an onerous process. Additional details will be released shortly,” Jacinda Ardern said. 

“Police are having a noticeable impact on offending rates, with ram raids during November down by 83% compared with August – 13 so far this month against a high of 75 in August. But we need to lock that progress in and sustain it. 

“The initiatives we’re announcing today make this the most significant crime prevention financial package in recent memory. 

“It backs up Police actions, through funding to support crime prevention initiatives, such as better street lighting and cameras and by investing in more fog cannons.”

Police Minister Chris Hipkins said this will be the first time the fog cannon and ram raid funds have operated at the same time.

“Despite global supply chain issues, Police has been successful in ordering an extra 455 fog cannons, which are expected to arrive before Christmas. This adds to the 270 fog cannons that are currently in the country and have been allocated to affected shops,” Chris Hipkins said.

“More challenging will be the time it takes to install them. The 1000 fog cannons that are already installed took four years, and despite Police doubling the number of local contractors that will do the work to six, it’s expected it will take till the second quarter of next year for the number of installations to start to ramp up.”   

The fog cannon fund was set up in 2017 after aggravated robberies of commercial premises and 1000 fog cannon were installed by the end of 2021.

According to Hipkins, “Police are making progress on the number of stores accessing the(Retail Crime prevention) fund. More than 100 shops now have installations approved, with 431 security measures allocated and underway. This includes 93 fog cannons, 78 security sirens, 57 alarms, 63 CCTV systems, 43 bollards and 36 roller doors.”

Government will also continue to work with repeat offenders and their families, said Chris Hipkins.

Related:https://www.newsviews.co.nz/feeling-unsafe-small-retailers-in-hamilton-waikato-down-shutters-against-rising-crime/

One comment:

  1. It’s intriguing that it has taken until now for the government to really become active in this area. . This is not good governance, it is madness.

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