5 May 2022
Media: Local Democracy Reporter
Topic: MSD emergency housing report
Reporter asked us to provide a copy of the MSD report re emergency housing that was referred to during today’s Operations & Monitoring Committee re where people in emergency housing in Rotorua had come from.
Reporter was referred to MSD to request their report.
Media: Rotorua Daily Post
Topic: CCTV monitoring in CBD
I interviewed a jewellery store owner today who had some comments on the city guardians scheme and had some points I would like to put to council for response, please.
What is the scheme and how does it work?
When was it introduced and how has this changed?
How long do they monitor for (time period?)
Why is it not monitored overnight?
Did it used to be and why did this stop?
What funding is there for it and how has this changed over the years?
Comments: He said it makes a significant difference to crime and stopping it from happening/getting the police to a crime as it happens
He said it was a senior council decision that stopped the cameras from being monitored overnight: "Maybe senior council can cut back on their big fat salaries and put a little bit over if they think their budgets are so stretched."
He said it was only one person, one wage.
He said the inner city went crazy when council stopped the scheme for a period of about three weeks about a year ago
*Upon further enquiry by RLC the reporter said the business owner had been burgled and wanted Council to do more.
The following information and comment was provided:
NB - NOTE FOR REPORTERS RE CCTV MONITORING:
CCTV monitoring did not stop during the short period of time your contact is referring to, when a change to the Guardians’ focus was announced and then reverted back. CCTV cameras record activity 24/7, all year round.
You can attribute the following to Kurt Williams, Manager Community and Regulatory Services:
CCTV continues to be monitored 7 days a week. CCTV Monitoring staff, guardian foot and vehicle patrols are rostered around identified trends in activity and seasons.
The Safe City Guardians were established in the late 2000’s, and have both an ambassadorial and community safety role with the latter being a focus on prevention, and on sharing appropriate information with the police.
Community safety, including perceptions of safety, is a key priority for Council and additional funds are being invested annually into patrols, CCTV monitoring and other safety initiatives, as set out in the Long-term Plan 2021-31.
Our Safe City Guardians and CCTV monitoring staff play an essential role in deterring, de-escalating and reporting incidents, and anti-social behaviour, along with interacting with businesses, locals and visitors, while maintaining close links with the police around crime. Guardian foot and vehicle patrols are rostered around identified trends in activity/seasons.
Council is committed to community safety and ensure our public spaces are safe and inviting environments to be in.
Our collaboration with police also involves appropriate information sharing to support a more comprehensive and efficient response to safety concerns throughout the city. Directly responding to crime is the role of the police.
Safety patrols undertaken by our Guardians now extend beyond the CBD, we have introduced vehicle patrols and we are undertaking a phased expansion of our CCTV network to cover more parts of Rotorua, as part of our Community Safety Plan.
The guardians and CCTV monitoring is funded through Council’s operational budgets.
(If you want more information on CCTV and Safe City Guardian budget figures we will need more time to pull this data.)
Since the end of 2018, the Guardians’ numbers have been boosted by local security firm staff, funded by Council, increasing the team from 4 to 10 total.
We have also increased the number of Council staff involved in CCTV monitoring from 2 to 4 to increase our monitoring, capability and capacity.
See more HERE about Council’s Community Safety Plan.