Far North locals taking ram-raid prevention into own hands

December 3, 2022

Businesses in the Far North are fed up with being targeted by ram-raids, with locals organising community patrols to bolster policing.

Grocery stores, pubs, and liquor stores have been particular targets of ram-raids, with The Taipa Tavern being hit three times in a single week.

Volunteers say that with police presence being so sparse, they've found themselves having to help act as eyes and ears in the community.

"Police are under resourced and spread thinly," says Dave Wades, president of Mangōnui Lions Club.

"We've had in excess of 30 citizens who've signed up, filled all the forms out to get the police vetting done and then become part of the community patrol."

1News understands there are only up to five police officers that patrol the wider Kaitaia area overnight, from Cape Reinga in the North to just south of Mangōnui.

Far North police say they are comfortable with their resourcing levels for the Kaitaia area and that they prioritise deploying staff to incidents of high-risk, such as threats of violence against people or property.