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Two years on—where is the action on crime?

News story
Wednesday 7 Jun 2023

Safety continues to be a significant concern for people and businesses right across Auckland. Along with our colleagues from other central business associations - Newmarket Business Association, Parnell Business Association, Ponsonby Business Association and Takapuna Beach Business Association - we again asked the Prime Minister Chris Hipkins publicly in the New Zealand Herald for more police resources, better management of emergency housing and better support for mental health and addiction. 

The dial must be shifted to keep our city and town centres safe and appealing.

Our Chief Executive Viv Beck outlined the work Heart of the City is doing along with others on a local level to support a safer city centre in this video. 

The letter was published in the New Zealand Herald on 7 June 2023. A copy of it is below:

Dear Prime Minister,

Two years ago we wrote to the Prime Minister asking for a co-ordinated, cross-government approach to deal with a stark and confronting rise in crime and anti-social behaviour in our city and town centres.

We asked for:

  • Increased police resourcing and presence on the street
  • Better management of emergency housing
  • Services for mental health and addiction

Crime is worse now.

We have seen limited direct action in response to our request, and what has been delivered in additional police resources is insufficient to manage the scale of the situation. We continue to experience brazen crime and damage to property in our precincts. Precious police resources are taken up with police expected to deal with issues that need to be managed by specialists from other agencies. This simply cannot continue.

Although we acknowledge there are new initiatives to deal with crime, our basic request remains the same. While we are doing everything we can with police, and others locally, to support our businesses and create a safe place for their customers, staff and suppliers, we need:

  • More police on the street, doing police work—the landscape has changed and police numbers must increase substantially.
  • People with mental health and addiction needs getting support from the agencies best equipped to meet their needs—not the police.
  • Improved co-ordination and management of emergency housing.

Please bring quick, decisive action to keep our city and town centres safe and appealing for locals and visitors—day and night.

Yours sincerely,

Viv Beck

Mark Knoff-Thomas

Cheryl Adamson

Viv Rosenberg

Terence Harpur