Police to patrol malls after brazen, violent smash-and-grabs

Source: 1News

More police officers are being deployed to patrol shopping centres affected by robberies after a series of brazen daylight smash-and-grabs in the past week.

A file image of a New Zealand Police officer at a public gathering.

Shoppers will see more "focused" foot and vehicle patrols around retail areas "that have been the target of recent offending," according to a police media release.

It said that officers were working to reassure the public that police were being proactive in responding to crime.

"We acknowledge there have been incidents at some shopping centres during opening hours recently, which has rightly caused concern amongst the community.

"While shopping malls often employ their own security personnel to provide reassurance and a preventative presence in the mall, police always takes the lead in responding to criminal activity," police said.

Four shopping malls in Auckland and Hamilton have been targeted in daylight robberies in the past week – with several attempts to target jewellery stores.

Shoppers could be seen fleeing after a Michael Hill jewellery store was targeted by armed thieves in a brazen robbery at a mall in Albany, Auckland mall on Friday.

Passerby amateur footage of the attacks has spread widely across social media and has prompted calls for greater interventions from police.

"There continue to be individuals within our communities who think it is acceptable to unlawfully take property and threaten or harm others," police said.

"Police work hard to hold these individuals accountable for their actions, responding quickly when offences occur and bringing offenders before the courts."