Venkat Raman –
Officials of the three Police Districts (Auckland City, Counties Manukau and Waitemata) are to launch a combined programme of engagement with retailers throughout the Auckland Metropolitan region next week.
Tamaki Makaurau (Great Auckland) officials will jointly implement ‘Operation Dukan’ over a four-week period commencing on April 18, 2017, covering retails shops, petrol stations and other outlets that are vulnerable to burglary and related offences.
The initiative is in response to the increasing spate of offences, involving mostly youth gangs and young individuals in various parts of Auckland in recent weeks.
Engagement in Safety
Small business retailers will notice uniformed Police staff visiting their premises over this period and they will be provided with crime prevention advice, posters, information, and a safety audit of their premises.
Counties Manukau Inspector Wati Chaplow said that the Police recognise that there have been some very concerning incidents of stores being robbed, often by youths armed with weapons and that they are using a reckless amount of force against retailers.
“We recognise that parts of this sector feel vulnerable, and they have genuine concerns for their safety as well as that of their families and staff present when these crimes occur. Police can provide valuable information and resources that will prevent robberies from occurring and mitigate the risk to the retailer’s safety,” he said.
Mr Chaplow said that the key to ‘Operation Dukan’ is the involvement of officers who are fluent in English, Hindi and Punjabi.
“Retailers will be invited to a ‘Robbery Prevention Seminar’ during which they will receive an in-depth presentation on reducing the risk of robbery. These seminars will occur across the Greater Auckland area and from experience, participants have received a lot of useful information from these and it is a great opportunity to engage with local police,” he added.
‘Operation Dukan’ was first implemented in Counties Manukau District in 2009 and has been updated to include policing staff from across the Greater Auckland area. The participants reported that they were grateful for the information provided and that they had made changes to their businesses to reduce the risk of robbery.
Inspector Chaplow said that the Police are ‘absolutely committed’ to preventing robberies from occurring. But if they unfortunately occur, the Police would certainly want to apprehend the offender/s, he said.
“It is critically important to Police that our retailers within our communities can feel safe and are safe, and that they can go about their business without fear of robbery or harm,” he said.
Queries relating to ‘Operation Dukan’ can be made to Inspector Wati Chaplow or Sergeant Gurpreet Arora on (09) 2632776.
Counties Manukau Police with a South Auckland retailer
Auckland City District Police Constable Bharvi Bhatt