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Prevention First initiatives underway for Wellington's CBD

Prevention First initiatives underway for Wellington's CBD

Wellington Police are working with other guardians of the inner city to prevent crime before it occurs, in a series of proactive initiatives being rolled out over the coming months.

Wellington Area Commander Inspector Chris Scahill says Police are working with partner agencies including the Wellington City Council, ACC and the Inner City Residents and Retailers Association to make the Courtenay Place precinct and surrounding entertainment areas a safer place.

"Courtenay Place is the city's leading entertainment precinct. We're undertaking a large amount of preventative policing to ensure those people who enjoy our leading entertainment area can be safe and feel safe."

Later this year, a highly visible proactive community policing team for the inner-city will begin operation, consisting of two sergeants and four constables. The team will also have an alcohol-harm reduction focus.

Inspector Scahill says work is underway with ACC to improve communication networks between bars in the Cuba Street precinct and Police, to diffuse potential trouble before it escalates.

Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says the Wellington City Council fully supports the initiatives.

"The City Council has a close and positive relationship with the Police and we’re enthusiastic about the new initiatives. We want people to enjoy Courtenay Place and surrounding areas as safely as possible."

ACC's Head of Injury Prevention and Insurance Products, Peter Wood says "Alcohol is estimated to be involved in over 20 per cent of injuries. We know that injuries can have a significant personal, social, and financial impact for New Zealanders, so ACC is committed to working with our community partners to help reduce the risk of alcohol-related harm."

Over the coming months, further initiatives will be rolled out to ensure Police staff are deployed to the right places, at the right times, to prevent crime before it occurs, as part of the New Zealand Police Prevention First Strategy.

Inspector Scahill says, "The Wellington City Council is also working closely with us on crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED) projects in the Te Aro Park area and surrounding alleyways, cleaning up graffiti and removing rubbish, in an ongoing effort to clean up the area and make it safer."

It is likely that the WCC's CCTV cameras will be relocated to the Wellington Central Police Station watchhouse later this year, where they will be under constant monitoring.

"We're in discussions with the Inner City Residents and Retailers Association and their members, who have expressed an interest in volunteering to monitor the cameras at peak times."

Chris Scahill says Police, ACC and the Wellington City Council will continue working together to act as guardians of the inner city, in an effort to reduce crime and make the inner city a safe place to live, work and play.

ENDS

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