Police fail to act on 111 calls ahead of robbery

By Kristin Edge -
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Barry Lloyd rang police three times before a Kamo dairy was robbed to alert them to a carload of suspicious people parked outside the shop. Photo / Michael Cunningham
Barry Lloyd rang police three times before a Kamo dairy was robbed to alert them to a carload of suspicious people parked outside the shop. Photo / Michael Cunningham

A Kamo man reported suspicious characters in a car outside a dairy to police three times just before the dairy was robbed.

Barry Lloyd is disappointed his three calls to 111 were not acted upon promptly after he spotted a suspicious vehicle with five men wearing dark-coloured hoodies near the Ye Korner Dairy and Takeaways, on Crawford Cres, Kamo.

Senior police say they are investigating why no officers were not sent to the dairy to investigate the suspicious activity.

All 111 calls are received by the police Northern Communication Centre based in Auckland who in turn contact and dispatch Northland officers to jobs.

Detective Senior Sergeant Dene Begbie said he was aware the three 111 calls had been made and was investigating the reasons behind the police response.

"Obviously we haven't been able to respond as well as we would have liked to. We are looking at the reason behind what happened here," he said.

Three masked robbers armed with a metal bar and a knife ran into the dairy about 1.50pm on Sunday, August 24. One of the men, dressed in black, dived across the counter and struck the dairy manager on the head with a crowbar as he tried to protect his wife and 4-year-old son. It is the second time the business has been robbed this year - no arrests have yet been made over either robbery.

Mr Lloyd said he was on his way home when he noticed a silver-coloured Honda Accord parked on Crawford Cres. He noted the people in the car all had their hoods pulled up over their heads. "It wasn't right so I pulled over and watched them for five minutes. I rang 111 and asked them to send someone to have a look," Mr Barry said.

When the car headed off down the road he followed and parked outside Kamo Primary School where he could see the vehicle and rang 111 again. When the car moved again to Crawford Cres, near where he had first spotted it, he followed again and parked his car and dialled 111 for a third time before getting out of his car and sitting outside the dairy.

"They drove past and I eye-balled one of them in the back seat. I was really wanting the police to be there and they never showed. I just knew something was going to go down."

Thinking the car had left Mr Lloyd went home. Minutes later he heard a siren and rushed outside to discover the dairy owner had been robbed and injured.

Mr Lloyd rang police again and not long after numerous police officers arrived.

Meanwhile, Mr Begbie said he didn't want to stop the flow of information from the public as their help was crucial in crime prevention. There had been numerous recent cases where public phone calls and tip-offs had led to arrests. "We really do encourage people to call in and prevent crimes."

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