Security subsidies welcome

Caversham Dairy owner Harry Singh and his air horn which he hopes to upgrade to a fog cannon....
Caversham Dairy owner Harry Singh and his air horn which he hopes to upgrade to a fog cannon. Photo: Gregor Richardson
After being robbed four times in two years, a Dunedin dairy owner is applauding the Government for providing greater financial support for crime prevention measures in high-risk retail businesses.

Police Minister Stuart Nash said the previous government announced in June last year $1.8million would be set aside for installing devices such as audible alarms, fog cannons, and DNA spray in premises identified by police as high risk.

Cost, however, deterred many businesses from accepting the help, and by November 2017 the equipment had been installed in just three places - two in Auckland and one in Wellington.

Mr Nash said the

the previous scheme required businesses to contribute 50% of the cost; beyond the reach of many.

He said a fog cannon cost about $4000, while a DNA spray system cost more than $3000 and an audible alarm was about $1700.

Mr Nash said the Government had increased the subsidy so at-risk business owners would only have to contribute up to $250 towards the cost of a fog cannon.

Police determine eligibility through security audits.

They visit vulnerable small businesses, such as dairies, to undertake assessments. Those determined most at risk of robbery are eligible for the subsidised assistance.

This is based on the likes of aggravated robbery history, burglaries and thefts, as well as calls to police for issues such as graffiti and suspicious activity.

Police arrange for a private-sector security firm to install the robbery countermeasures.

A police spokesman said police had identified seven businesses in the Southern district which might be eligible for the subsidy.

For security reasons, police would not identify them, and the number of eligible businesses could change at any time, he said.

Caversham Dairy owner Harry Singh said he was not one of the seven, but intended to contact police to plead his case.

He said his dairy had been robbed four times in the past two years.

Some were armed robberies, and cigarettes and cash seemed to be robbers' main targets.

He said he already had security cameras, an air horn and a few other less orthodox security measures, but having something like a fog cannon would be ideal.

Mr Singh said his job had proved dangerous at times and the crime prevention tools would give him and his family ''peace of mind'' when going to work each day.

However, like many dairy owners, he could not afford the full cost of a fog cannon.

''Subsidising it is a great idea.''


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