Kaitāia’s CCTV system has received a financial boost and theBusiness Association wants to expand the camera network further to fight crime and make the CBD safer.
The CCTV network is seen as crucial to helping police and businesses deal with anti-social behaviour, and more volunteers are needed to watch the action on the camera’s screens.
The Kaitāia Business Association has just received grants from the Te Hiku Community Board, out of more than $20,000 of funding given out to six community groups at its November meeting.
The association secured the largest amount, receiving a grant of $7500 towards CCTV costs. This is a two-year grant of $7500 for the 2023/24 financial year and, $7500 for the 2024/25 financial year for the ongoing monitoring and maintenance of the CCTV in Kaitāia.
KBA chairman Josh Kirby said the aim was to expand the town’s CCTV coverage to fight anti-social behaviour and crime and make the central business area safer for all.
Kirby said the current system had already proved effective in areas, with crimes prevented and police notified of suspicious activity, people or vehicles from the people monitoring the network.
‘’They can provide live information to police on anything that is raising concern and there have been some very positive results from the CCTV network.
‘’It’s proving very beneficial to police in terms of helping their investigations and providing vital information. And they are also a good crime prevention tool - and prevention is really important - and they are the eyes for our community. They support the police and our entire community.’’
The network is monitored by Safer Communities Kaitāia, from inside Kaitāia police station.
‘’The goal is to have 24/7 CCTV coverage and monitoring all the CBD area, but that will require additional support from our community. CCTV is a really helpful tool for police, for the prevention of crime and catching those who commit crime or anti-social behaviour in town.’’
Many local businesses were contributing to the scheme to the tune of about $25 a week.
The push for more CCTV coverage comes after the KBA’s antisocial behaviour survey, asking for feedback, has closed. The survey sought information on the impact antisocial behaviour has on business, in particular, on the safety and wellbeing of owners, managers, staff and customers.
Kirby said the results of the survey were still being analysed, but they would give a valuable insight into just how the business community feels about the issues.
‘’But we know there are issues out there with violence and anti-social behaviour - just the other week a person was badly attacked at Pak’N Save - but the survey will help show exactly what is happening.’’
Angela Phillipps, from Safer Communities Kaitāia and KBA deputy-chair, said the CCTV monitoring system was always in need of more volunteers and anybody who could pass police vetting and was willing to be trained, could apply to become a volunteer. Anybody interested should contact the KBA.
Also from the Te Hiku Community Board grants:
Te Hapua Komiti Whaiti received $4313 for repairs to the Ratana church building, a focal point for the wider Te Hapua community.
Rongopai House Community Trust, which provides food and support for disadvantaged members of the Kaitāia community, received $4235 towards purchasing a freezer and storage shelving.
Te Pokapu Tiaki Taioa o Te Tai Tokerau was granted $2500 to provide free regenerative green spaces and traditional craft workshops for the Kaitāia community.
Cruz’n the Bay 2024 was granted $1500. Originating last year in the Bay of Islands, this event is now making its debut in Te Hiku, drawing participants northward in the hopes of generating interest for future years.
The Kaitāia Knights Chess Club was granted $935. The recently established club is working with other local community organisations to encourage youth participation, including in fundraising events. The funding will go towards the costs of venue hire.