Rotorua area commander Inspector Herby Ngawhika. Photo / Laura Smith
Police and the council have set a goal to halve violent crime and antisocial behaviour in Rotorua’s CBD by 2026.
It comes as Rotorua’s top cop suggests people have moved from emergency housing motels to the city’s backpackers and hostels — where he says demand for police services is rising.
The target and comments were shared by police area commander Inspector Herby Ngawhika at a Rotorua Lakes Council meeting on Wednesday.
Inner-city businesses had voiced concern in recent months about safety, and Rotorua has also been hit by a spate of youth crime and ram raids.
Police and the council are working on a Rotorua Community Safety Plan, and the progress update included some of what it aspired to achieve.
Ngawhika said the goal to halve violent crime and antisocial behaviour had to be aspirational.
“What it does is shows our commitment to what we want to achieve here.”
He said he became area commander wanting his granddaughter to grow up in a safe town.
“I maintain that.”
In a response to Local Democracy Reporting after the meeting, Ngawhika said because the proposal was at the draft stage, many details were under consultation.
He said it was envisaged the initiative would address issues such as antisocial behaviour, shoplifting, graffiti, theft from cars and violent offending.
A request for police crime data relating to violence and…