Masked robbers bash dairy owner with metal bar after three warning calls to emergency number go unheeded
A review of how Northland police responded to three 111 calls before a dairy was robbed could change the way police deal with emergency calls and dispatch officers.
Whangarei police this week apologised to a man who rang 111 three times to report suspicious people in a car before the dairy was robbed.
They have also apologised to the dairy owner.
Northland police District Commander Superintendent Russell Le Prou said police had reviewed their response to calls made by Barry Lloyd about suspicious behaviour before the aggravated robbery of the Ye Korner Dairy and Takeaways in Crawford Cres in Kamo.
Mr Le Prou said they had found a police unit was not sent, and police were reviewing processes to avoid a similar thing happening again.
The staff member concerned, who worked at the Police Northern Communications Centre in Auckland, had undergone a professional review of their handling of the incident.
Northland police spokeswoman Sarah Kennett said the review of processes would take a further two weeks, and if improvements could be made they would be implemented throughout New Zealand.
All 111 calls are received by police communication centres in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, which send local officers to jobs.
Mr Lloyd made his calls after he saw a vehicle carrying five men wearing dark-coloured hoodies near the Ye Korner Dairy. He was unable to give police a car registration number.
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 an iron bar as he tried to protect his wife and 4-year-old son.
It is the second time the business has been robbed this year, and no arrests have been made.
Mr Lloyd and the dairy owner were visited this week by a senior police detective who apologised for the way police dealt with the incident.
The dairy owner said he accepted the police apology and had been reassured police were "working hard on this case".
Police receive almost 1.8 million 111 calls a year.
Call and response
• On August 24, Barry Lloyd rang 111 three times about suspicious people in a car outside a Whangarei dairy.
• No police were sent, and the dairy was robbed soon afterwards.
• Police have apologised to Mr Lloyd and the dairy owner.
• They are reviewing processes and say if improvements can be made they will be implemented on a national level.