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Police operation aims to keep small Coast businesses safe

15 May 2017 12:18 pm

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From left, Constable Karen Murphy and Community Constable Mike Brown with Hilltop Dairy owner Faruk Ismail. Police are reaching out to dairy and liquor store owners all over the Coast in an effort to keep them safe.
Police are making a concerted effort to try and prevent the violent robberies of dairies and liquor stores seen in other parts of Auckland from occurring here.

If such attacks do occur, police want our local storeowners to be prepared.

Since Easter, officers throughout the Hibiscus Coast and Rodney have visited 89 businesses in the region, including in Whangaparaoa, Orewa, Millwater, Silverdale and Waiwera, as part of an Auckland-wide crime prevention operation.

One of them is Hilltop Dairy owner Faruk Ismail, whose business was ram raided last year and the cash register taken.

He says although that is the only problem he has had in the six years he’s owned the dairy, he appreciates the police’s assistance in preventing any further attacks on his business.

The dairy, and nearby Hilltop Super Liquor (which was ram raided two years ago) both had bollards installed outside as a result of the ram raids.

Constable Karen Murphy says that the recent operation enabled police to provide safety and security advice to dairy and liquor store owners, most of which are owner-operated, covering issues such as visibility, store layout, CCTV, alarms and key things to look for. Advice is also provided on what to do if someone comes in with a weapon.

While many are already aware of the issues, Constable Murphy says the storeowners, appreciated the prevention advice and support.

“We want them to feel safe in their shops despite the robberies occurring elsewhere in Auckland,” Constable Murphy says. “We reinforced the importance of vigilence – they can’t afford to become complacent. The majority of the storeowners we spoke to are from the ethnic community and they are feeling vulnerable. They may also not be comfortable dealing with police and this operation helped break down those barriers and build up trust.”

Orewa Community Constable Mike Brown says that Police in this region are learning from the aggravated robberies of these kinds of stores that are happening increasingly in other parts of Auckland. “We want to try and prevent those activities happening up here,” he says.

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