Thursday, November 30, 2023

Christmas crime measures gifted to retailers, councils

The Government is rolling out additional measures to improve safety for small businesses and at-risk surrounding areas, Police Minister, Chris Hipkins and Small Business Minister, Stuart Nash said today. 

“As we move into the Christmas period it’s important to provide an update for retailers on the work the Government and Police are doing to help keep them safe,” Mr Hipkins said.

Fog cannon subsidy scheme

Minister Nash said the fog cannon installation scheme will open to eligible small retailers and dairies, with a $4,000 subsidy paid directly to the supplier and retailers paying the balance.

“The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has confirmed that retailers can access the scheme from February 2023,” said Mr Nash.

“Retailers can already express interest in the subsidy through business.govt.nz. Early expressions of interest will go a long way to help us understand demand. 

“Potential fog cannon suppliers will be able to apply for approval via the Government Electronic Tender Service in the week of 19 December. They are encouraged to apply.”

Ministers have agreed that the scheme needs to be easy for retailers to access and practical for suppliers.

Retailers will need to meet certain criteria to be eligible for the subsidy.

These include:

  • having no more than two outlets, with five or fewer paid employees;
  • having a street frontage (outlets in an indoors mall where security is already provided won’t be eligible).

Once the subsidy is launched in February, eligible retailers should visit the business.govt.nz website, and formally apply. Retailers will need to declare they are eligible and provide simple business verification details.

“If approved, they will be given a contact list of approved suppliers. It’ll be up to retailers to work with suppliers to get the fog cannons installed,” said Mr Nash.

“After installation, the supplier will invoice MBIE and receive up to $4,000 as the subsidy. The retailer will need to pay the supplier any remaining costs.”

Crime Prevention activities led by councils (and providers)

Meanwhile, Mr Hipkins said government officials have been working with urgency, alongside council representatives and providers, to get funding to them as promptly as possible for locally-led crime prevention initiatives.

“That includes support for youth engagement initiatives and programmes that will be delivered over the Christmas holiday break,” he said.

Retail Crime Prevention Programme expansion

“The expanded programme will now also support small retailers who have been victim of aggravated robbery within the past 12 months. 

“Police has already started working to identify recent victims of aggravated robbery and from January will start contacting them to assess their needs for the supply and installation of crime prevention products,” Minister Hipkins said.

The Retail Crime Prevention Programme is for small retailers where a serious crime has been committed. It can often involve the installation of other protection measures in addition to fog cannons, such as roller doors, sirens, strengthened glass and bollards.

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