Saturday, July 13, 2024

Auckland CBD safety measures gain momentum

Auckland Council has announced a series of new initiatives aimed at improving safety in the city centre under the banner of its ‘Together for Tāmaki Makaurau’ partnership.

Established in November 2023, the partnership aims to provide an improved and more visible safety presence in the city centre, from Karangahape Road to the waterfront. 

Together with its urban regeneration agency, Eke Panuku, Auckland Council has been working alongside NZ Police, government agencies, business associations and social support services, to develop an integrated safety plan for the city centre.

The objective of the safety plan is to build community confidence and awareness around the collective work being done within the ‘Together for Tāmaki Makaurau’ partnership.

It will underpin work to improve the experience of people in the city centre and support the residential community, which are two key focus areas of the overall City Centre Action Plan, said Chair of the Regulatory and Community Safety Committee, Councillor Josephine Bartley.

Cr Bartley says the City Centre Safety Plan has come in response to feedback from the public and community groups that concerns around safety are impacting people’s enjoyment of the city centre. 

“Tāmaki Makaurau’s city centre has so much to offer, and we want everyone to feel they can enjoy it safely. While police analysis has shown crime levels have been easing off in recent months, there is still a perception that anti-social and nuisance behaviour is impacting people’s ability to feel welcome and secure in the city centre,” she said.

“Improving safety and community confidence is a complex issue that no one agency can own alone, but together with our partners we’ve already introduced some new measures that will make a real difference.” 

Council has also agreed to look at its use of the Public Safety & Nuisance Bylaw 2022. This will consider enhanced enforcement options and whether these could be used to address ongoing concerns with city centre safety and nuisance.

Auckland Council’s Compliance Manager, Adrian Wilson says, “There is a perception that the homeless are the cause of most safety issues in the city centre. This is simply not the case and reports back from our CityWatch teams, social service outreach providers and compliance officers tell us they are more likely to be victims rather than perpetrators.”

“We know from police reports that alcohol-related crime plays a significant role in city centre violence and yet somehow homelessness ends up the centre of attention in this space. The ‘Together for Tāmaki Makaurau’ partnership are focussing on a collective effort of community outreach, safety patrols, compliance, and police to tackle this complex issue.”

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