The Auckland City District Police hosted a Robbery Prevention Seminar on Tuesday, May 9 at Mahatma Gandhi Centre in Eden Terrace. The event was attended by community leaders, victims of aggravated robberies and retailers from different parts of the city.

The seminar is a part of the ongoing ‘Operation Dukan’ campaign by NZ Police. Police officers have visited more than 900 local retail stores in last few months such as dairy stores, petrol stations, liquor stores in Auckland educating them on preventive measures to take during unanticipated incidents of robberies.

The seminar opened up defining robberies and shoplifting by Constable Rob Stanton and the basic precautions the retailers should take to prepare for such situations and mitigate such incidents proactively.

Constable Rob Stanton

The seminar focussed on different aspects of keeping one’s stores safe, the most important messages being keeping the store equipped with accurately positioning CCTV cameras, having a clear view of the parking and walking space outside the store to note anything suspicious, installing fog cannons and keeping the Isles spacious and lower in height so the movements of the prospective offenders can be monitored.

The seminar also encouraged the retailers to avoid getting into a physical scuffle with the offenders in such situations as it has the propensity making the matter more violent.

“A good proactive work for the retailers is to have a good view of the space outside the store, including the parking area. Most of the offenders remain in that vicinity inspecting the area and the movements in the store. Note the car type, name and registration numbers, gently request people entering with hoodies and caps to take it off for a clear view of their face and report if anything is deemed suspicious, it helps the police locate and catch the offenders faster,” Senior Constable Gary Boles said.

Officer Joe Tippeni

Constable Boles also emphasised on giving a complete description of the offender when they [store owners] call 111 during robberies and shoplifting as it is vital to track down the offenders based on their looks and clothing. 

The seminar concluded with a Q&A session with the police and attendees were also handed a booklet as a guideline to make sure retailers are proactively prepared for such unanticipated incidents.