Project slashes burglary rate

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Total Security Management team monitor CCTV screens from up to 120 cameras located around the town. Staff member William Allen, front, behind him are (from left): security company manager Bill Frost, Community Constable Jeff Phillipps and Kaitaia Business Association committee member Raewyn Taaffe.
Total Security Management team monitor CCTV screens from up to 120 cameras located around the town. Staff member William Allen, front, behind him are (from left): security company manager Bill Frost, Community Constable Jeff Phillipps and Kaitaia Business Association committee member Raewyn Taaffe.

The police in Kaitaia and Far North Mayor John Carter never had any doubt that Total Security Management, established last year by Te Aupouri Maori Trust Board, had the potential to make life harder for burglars in Kaitaia.

And statistics obtained from the police suggest that their faith was well-founded.

A total of 84 burglaries were reported in Kaitaia over the period August 7 last year (when TSM was launched) to January 31 this year, down from an average of 125 for the same period from 2009-14. Twenty-one business premises (including churches, schools and sports clubs) were broken into over the latest period, compared with an average of 50 over the previous seven years, falls of 33 per cent and 58 per cent respectively.

"That's 41 fewer victims this year, 29 of them in the business community, over the average for the last seven years," Senior Sergeant Geoff Ryan said.

"This is really good news for Kaitaia," Mr Carter said.

"All that has changed is that we have more and higher-definition CCTV cameras around the town, and TSM is up and running, which means the images from those cameras are being monitored."

TSM, working in partnership with the police, was able to provide a physical response to any suspicious activity almost anywhere in the town. Those who might once have helped themselves to someone else's property now knew they were being observed.

Mr Carter said the programme was still in desperate need of support from the community, however.

"TSM has 108 customers so far, and another 75 quotes have been requested, so they are getting closer to becoming economically viable," he said.

"This is not a money-making exercise. From the start it's been about meeting costs and no more, but if Kaitaia wants this level of service then it will have to support it."

- Northern Advocate

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