Aggravated robberies cue police talks
Scooping a couple of awards at the Waiata Ma¯ori Music Awards was a bonus for Kerikeri musician Troy Kingi. Read the full story on page 4.
Police are conducting workshops to help businesses be prepared following a surge of high profile aggravated robberies in the Far North.
The first armed robbery safety seminar was held in Kerikeri in September, and police aim to roll them out to businesses in Kaikohe, Kawakawa, Moerewa, Paihia and Russell later this year.
Mid and Far North prevention manager Sergeant Haydn Korach says the aim of the workshops is to teach businesses how to be prepared for a possible armed robbery and what to do when confronted by shoplifters.
Korach says businesses should have plans in place for staff to follow in the event of an armed robbery.
They should keep calm, obey instructions, treat all weapons as real, and when they have an opportunity, get to a safe area, then call police, Korach says.
‘‘We have seen some comments that people say they would fight them [offenders] off, we don’t want that to be the case. We want to ensure they maintain their own safety. We don’t want a robbery turning into a murder.’’
In August, three offenders smashed their way into McDonald’s Kaikohe allegedly armed with an axe and what appeared to be a single barrelled shotgun, before ordering staff to empty money into a bag before escaping into the night.
Later that month, five teenagers were arrested for their part in pointing a gun at staff at the Waipapa BP, where they stole tobacco, the cash drawer and chocolate before fleeing in a stolen vehicle.
Charges have been laid against 1283 people around the country for aggravated robberies, with charges against 43 people in Northland between January and August.
‘‘We had discussed holding the seminars because we knew it was coming our way, with an increased number of armed robberies around the country, we knew there was a high chance of it happening here,’’ Korach says.
‘‘We had just visited a number of businesses and then the Waipapa BP and the McDonald’s [Kaikohe] got hit.’’
What do you think? Email firstname.lastname@example.org