Businesses in Nelson’s city centre want a greater police presence on the street to deter would-be offenders as they are subjected to the increased rate of crime being seen nationwide.
The desire was expressed at a meeting on 7 December between about 50 retailers and local police hosted by Mayor Nick Smith.
“I’ve been approached by at least 20, probably closer to 30, mainly retail businesses, but also retail workers, who are worried about an increase in the level of crime in the central city,” Smith said.
“What I want to do is to provide the opportunity for those of us that have positions of responsibility in the city to be able to hear directly from [businesses] as to what [they] feel is going on in the city.”
And these worries were made clear to relieving Area Commander Mark Clayton and Sergeant Kyle Bunnings.
Incidents raised included business owners being subject to death threats, having weapons drawn on them, and assaults on staff alongside an increase in shoplifting and disorderly conduct from those under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
“We’re all experiencing a lift in crime,” said Stirling Sports’ Wyatt Crockett.
“Going back five years, you’d see one or two incidents per year. Now it’s almost daily.”
He said shoplifting was costing his businesses “thousands and thousands” of dollars and so he…