Crime Prevention Fund – ‘Missed Opportunity’ for Auckland
$2 million from central Government to prevent crime in Auckland will be distributed via business associations and not to where need is the highest.
As we start another day with our news feed full of stories of ram raids and overnight burglaries Government has released more funding for crime prevention in Auckland.
Auckland councillors have elected to give half of a $2 million fund from central Government earmarked for crime to local boards and half to council-affiliated business association known as BIDs around the city.
Council officials suggested the fund could be put to good use paying for crime prevention through environmental design (check out earlier CPTED blog). This is an approach that includes lighting, limiting access, improving naturally-occurring public surveillance and beautifying public areas.
Everybody around the committee table including local board representatives agreed crime was an issue that needed to be dealt with. There was still some discrepancy over how the money should be parcelled out.
The fund could either be given out using standard local district ratios, based on population, deprivation and land area. Or it could use a ratio determined by recent crime statistics.
The committee went with the former, meaning local board areas on the top of council-published crime lists like Waitematā and Albert-Eden will be getting a smaller slice of the pie than they otherwise might have expected.
Crime Data Stats for Auckland
Albert-Eden local board chair Margi Watson was at the meeting to advocate for a quicker rollout for the fund at a regional level. This would bypass the need for local board ratios and allow local organisations to apply directly to council for funding.
But the council advocated for a community-led approach which puts the ball in local board and BIDs’ courts.
Watson was disappointed by the committee’s decision, and said not using the crime data to tailor the distribution of the funds was a “missed opportunity”.
“It’s not responsive to crime at all,” she said. “Plus there are areas without BIDs that won’t get a look-in at all.”
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