A highly visible mobile security camera in Rotorua's inner city has been erected by the Rotorua Lakes Council opposite the homeless shelter's entrance on Pukuatua St.
The man who runs the Rotorua Night Shelter, Tiny Deane, said he was not aware the camera had been put there but understood why the move had been made.
The council has said the camera had only been operating for two days and was already having an impact in deterring anti-social behaviour.
The mobile camera has been on the back of a trailer in a public parking spot on Pukuatua St since Monday.
It has been put there in response to anti-social behaviour around the entrance to the city's carpark building, council inner city manager Richard Horn said in a statement.
"Fixed security cameras located around the inner city and have been very effective in helping to prevent and de-escalate crime and anti-social behaviour, working collaboratively with the police," Horn said.
"But we're always looking at what more we can do and with the carpark building becoming a trouble spot we decided to see if parking the mobile camera nearby would put a stop to that, which it appears to have done."
Horn said there were fixed security cameras in the area but these were not so visible or obvious.
"[The] council has had the mobile camera for some years and uses it for the likes of events, but this is the first time we've used it in this way so it's another tool we can consider using more often.
"It's part of ongoing fine-tuning of inner city safety initiatives and our partnership with the police with a focus on our shared outcome, which is people feeling safe in the inner city."
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Last summer the council teamed up with the police to focus on inner city safety, increasing CCTV monitoring, extending patrols by the Safe City Guardians and doing these jointly with police and security staff, alongside regular meetings with police to share information and discuss concerns.
There are 48 fixed security cameras throughout the inner city and they are monitored by the council. A community constable provides additional support and engages with local businesses, providing advice and help as needed.
The increased patrolling has continued since last summer and the council and police met regularly and were discussing plans for the summer months ahead.
"We know there are still issues but we have had a lot of positive response and support from the public and businesses in the inner city, including Eat Streat, about the impact they see as a result of the patrols and the support provided by the community constable," Horn said.
Senior Sergeant Karl Konlechner of the Rotorua police said the joint approach to safety benefitted all parties and particularly the community.
"We want people to feel safe but we can't be everywhere at once, so the partnership with council means we have additional eyes and ears on the street and are receiving immediate information that enables us to respond quickly," Konlechner said.
"We are aware some activity and incidents are not being reported to us so would really encourage people to make sure they do report these so they can be dealt with. We don't want people trying to deal with matters themselves and want to ensure we get a complete picture of what's happening so that we can continue to re-assess and review our response."
Deane, who founded Visions of a Helping Hand Trust which runs the Rotorua Night Shelter, said he had no idea the camera was there.
However, he said there had been increasing problems on Pukuatua St, especially around the former Van Dyk's building adjacent to the Night Shelter where he said homeless people were often smoking synthetic cannabis.
He said despite having security working at his shelter, people were still using drugs in the area and it was not a good look.
He had plans, which he could not divulge yet, to improve security in the area.
The Rotorua Salvation Army, also on Pukuatua St, was unable to comment to the Rotorua Daily Post, with a spokeswoman saying they did not know anything about the camera.