Papakura wants funds to fight crime

Publish Date : 15 May 2023
Youth Programme (1)
Funding for youth programmes is under threat but Papakura Local Board says engaging with young people helps involve them with the community, and is a valuable way to combat crime.

Papakura Local Board wants to decide how to spend its share of the $2million one-off Local Crime Fund made available by the Government.

Providing feedback on options for distributing the fund, board chair Brent Catchpole says with budget constraints making it difficult for boards to fund local safety initiatives, they should be able to use the money.

Board feedback will inform a report to May’s Regulatory and Safety Committee to approve a decision.

The fund was announced last November to address retail crime and reoffending throughout New Zealand, with $2 million granted to Auckland Council to support crime prevention and youth engagement approaches or intervention programmes.

The funding will activate or strengthen existing community-led partnerships that focus on youth crime prevention and town centre and retail crime prevention.

“Our approach is simple,” Catchpole says.

“We are best-placed to spend the money wisely, especially when we have budget constraints that make continuing local safety initiatives difficult.”

The board has an existing partnership with the Papakura Business Association that includes a Papakura safety co-ordinator role, and another for monitoring CCTV cameras.

“But with the budget constraints we are facing it might be difficult to commit in the same way we have in the past to good work being delivered as part of Neighbourhood Support and Crimewatch.”

Catchpole says the board has called for allocations from the fund to be made recognising growth, and deprivation and population, or to be evenly split across all local boards.

“If a decision was made to allocate the funding some other way, we believe the scope should be broad enough to allow coverage of Crimewatch and Neighbourhood Support-type groups.

“Regardless of what happens, those types of groups are going to have to respond to ongoing local board and governing body budget shortfalls.”

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