Newmarket businesses install CCTV cameras with direct line to cops

Fri, May 26

Business owners in Newmarket are fed up with retail crime in their area so they're taking matters into their own hands.

They've invested more than $500,000 into security measures for their stores, including CCTV cameras with a direct line to police.

Route 66 owner Todd Male and Mark Knoff-Thomas from the Newmarket Business Association joined Breakfast to discuss the issue.

Knoff-Thomas said "it's fair to say" they've noticed a spike in crime.

"We've always provided security for the precinct, but we needed to do something extra, something more," he said.

"We're working very closely with the police and I should say, the police in East Auckland ... have been awesome and supportive."

Knoff-Thomas said the aim is to "keep a lid on what's happening in the precinct every day".

And the precinct's initiatives are working, Male said: "It's definitely having results."

The group have a network of cameras all across Newmarket, with a communications centre set up in Newmarket police station.

All Newmarket Business Association members have a direct number they can use to phone into the centre.

In the event of an incident, the communications centre radios one of the precinct's three mobile patrol guards.

"We used to have one patrol guard for the whole precinct, and now we have three," Knoff-Thomas said.

"And it's fair to say they're run ragged every day.

"A lot of it is just petty retail theft, people stealing things, antisocial behaviour, juveniles getting together and being problematic for retailers or for consumers, all kinds of things.

"If you're a criminal and you're coming to Newmarket to do bad stuff, we see you." However, "if you're not doing anything illegal you've got nothing to worry about."

He recognised the money is "no insignificant sum", but said the retailers feel it's necessary.

Male added that security is now "top of the list" for business owners. "We need our staff to come to work and feel safe, we need customers to enjoy the experience."

"Newmarket's leading the way in crime prevention," he said.


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