No canopies: brighter and less crime
Crime in Porirua’s city centre has dropped by a quarter since the canopies came down in 2015.
As part of a report to Porirua City councillors on February 2, outlining the second phase of the $24 million CBD revitalisation project, it was noted that feedback from the public about the work had been positive and police had reported a drop in crime.
Porirua Police crime preven- tion team supervisor Sergeant Jonathan Westrupp said the difference had been marked since the canopies were removed in January 2015.
‘‘The mood under where the canopies used to be is good, from shoppers and retailers.
‘‘The crime stats were never over the top about fights and assaults - we know it’s a safe place to come to - but the negative perception was still there. That’s largely going now and people are telling us they feel safe.
‘‘The city council’s work and things like the night market are really contributing to that.’’
He said firm statistics were being compiled, but reported assaults in the city centre were down from 3.5 a month to 2.5, and offences committed by people aged 13 to 19 had halved.
Removing the toilet block from Lyttelton Ave had also contributed to the perception of safety, Westrupp said.
People buying alcohol for minors in the CBD was something they would continue to concentrate resources on, he said.
Emma Greig from Black Rose Florist said the city centre was ‘‘nicer and brighter’’ without the canopies.
‘‘Personally, I didn’t like to walk around this area before , because it was dark and there were a lot of kids always hanging around.’’
Council general manager city growth and partnerships Bryan Patchett said the white canopy poles would remain temporarily, as they had CCTV cameras and lights mounted on them.
‘‘New light poles and cameras will be installed later this year and at that time the concrete poles will be removed,’’ he said.
Patchett said feedback from the public had told them the new open spaces and events being held in the CBD were bringing an energetic feel to Cobham Court.
Viliamu Tiumalu, 2, goes for a ride.