All complaints are important to Police
Commissioner Rob Robinson says all complaints to Police are important and even though not every incident might be attended the information provided helps build up the intelligence database which informs deployments of patrols.
Mr Robinson said that he had received an assurance from Papakura Police this morning that Police had dealt appropriately with the South Auckland Dairy owner on each of the four occasions over the last year that Police had received complaints from him.
"A year ago an offender was apprehended for the theft of tobacco and a cigarette lighter valued at $29.95 from the South Auckland dairy. The offender was put before the court and received a fine of $150 plus court costs of $130.
"A second complaint of shoplifting in October involving a pie, a sausage roll and a drink resulted in the individual being trespassed by the owner from the shop. Inquiries were unsuccessfully made to locate the offender. There is a flag in the system for that individual to be interviewed on the matter should they come to the attention of police for any other matter.
"A third complaint related to shop-lifting in which the alleged offender left the scene in a vehicle. The complaint made to the Police Communications Centre regretably included a non-existent vehicle registration number.
"The most recent complaint, in February of this year involved the theft of a single bottle of coke. The shop did have video footage of the theft. The suspect has been seen in the area but has not been positively identified.
"Police files also do not disclose complaints of persistent intimidation, though I acknowledge that clearly the dairy owner feels some form of threat given his desire for continuing anonymity.
"Papakura Police will be in contact with the dairy owner later today to discuss crime prevention measures that the shop owner could undertake to help improve security.
"I was concerned by reported comments that he would not be contacting Police in future about such matters.
"Business owners and the public can be assured that whenever life or property are under serious threat then it is my expectation we will be there. By the same token there needs to be a sense of realism on the part of the community to take whatever prudent measures they can to keep themselves and their businesses safe and secure.
"Frontline supervisors make pragmatic decisions about which complaints will and which won't be investigated. Where there is a minor theft with no specific line of enquiry these complaints will mostly be noted for intelligence purposes and then filed. It is important that complainants know what action we have taken and do not have unrealistic hopes around every minor matter.
"Operational decisions are a balancing act given that policing and the demands for policing services are dynamic. Those decisions are best made by front-line supervisors who are aware of local demands.
"I have no criticism of my front-line supervisors in this case but we will continue to have dialogue with the dairy owner concerned to see whether there is more to his problems than our current analysis shows. If there are ways in which we can help him and other business owners in that vicinity then of course we will take action," said Mr Robinson.