The Kāpiti Coast Chamber of Commerce recently partnered with the Kāpiti Community Patrol, Kāpiti Police and Kāpiti Coast District Council, to bring local business owners a timely Business Safety Awareness event. This event was designed to inform, upskill, and connect those concerned with protecting their businesses in light of the recent ram raids.

Bede Laracy, Deputy Chamber Chair, commented:

“The biggest thing of the night for me was having all the groups in the room together to talk. Business owners directly engaged with groups like CPNZ and the police, asking them all their questions. We should definitely build on this. Businesses need to be connected and report suspicious activity to each other to keep our community informed and safe.”

The response of local police has led to a decline in ram raids; while security measures, such as bollards, can still be explored, they may no longer be necessary. However, as a competitive atmosphere on social media has bolstered recent crime streaks, there is the possibility that another fad will spring up in its place. KCDC confirmed that while they only play a minimal role in crime prevention, they can investigate public CCTV as an alternative route. Technological advancements make alarms and security cameras more effective and accessible for private use, but ongoing monitoring costs present a challenge for establishing public security systems.

The business safety event was an encouraging showcase of the strength that lies in our community network. Groups like the Community Patrol are an excellent asset for Kāpiti, but we must collectively foster networks of connection to be truly effective. Business owners can get involved by checking in on their neighbours and keeping each other informed on suspicious activity. Retailers can also check out the New Zealand Police Retail Crime Prevention Programme to apply for funding and protective equipment for their business.