Helping people feel safe is at the heart of Papakura Local Board's decision to invest in a project to upgrade the public safety camera system in Papakura town centre.
It recently agreed to provide funding towards the upgrade, a project being led by the Papakura Business Association.
“If we are to develop the area into a vibrant and prosperous metropolitan centre – a key part of that is improving safety and security,” says Papakura Local Board Chair Brent Catchpole.
“Last year we had a safety review carried out to look at what some of the issues were that were affecting people’s perception of safety in the town centre. One of the key recommendations was a comprehensive CCTV system was a necessary tool in preventing and detecting crime.”
The current system has reached capacity so the upgrade will enable the service, software and recording equipment to be improved and allow additional new camera locations within the town centre. It would also have the potential to support future expansion of the system to other sites outside the town centre.
CCTV convenor for the business association, John Shaw, says the board’s support is a big shot in the arm for its efforts to improve safety.
“We are naturally very grateful for the local board’s support because it means that with the better system we can really start making a difference.”
This latest activity is just one of several projects and initiatives the board has funded over the past year to enhance security in the town centre including:
- agreements and funding with Papakura Crimewatch Patrols, Neighbourhood Support Papakura and the Māori wardens
- employing town centre security guards
- supporting the town centre safety coordinator role
- placemaking and innovation initiatives.
The Papakura Business Association owns the existing CCTV system and it is operated in partnership with Papakura Police.
Earlier this year the surveillance of the network was relocated to the police station and is monitored by trained and police-vetted members of the Papakura Community Crimewatch Patrol based at the station.
Working together to transform Papakura
This project is one of the ways business, community and local government are working together so that potential for Papakura can be realised.
In 2016 the local board established the Papakura Commercial Project Group to work towards realising the vision of the Auckland Plan for Papakura to be one of 10 metropolitan centres in Auckland.
Led by an independent chair and made up of representatives from the local board, Auckland Council departments, Auckland Transport and Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) and the business association, the group identifies opportunities to boost the local economy and sports, arts and culture, improve community participation and connectivity and public transport.
“What we found is that a lot of great things are happening but a lot of it in isolation so the group connects those dots, ensures we aren’t replicating work and use our collective knowledge and connections to identify opportunities and solve issues,” says Mr Catchpole.
“One of the first projects is a town centre health check that aims to first look at what’s working, what’s not and the opportunities for improvement and development.