Call for better security in South

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Security in the South . . . McAuliffe Jewellers owner Robert McAuliffe says suggestions to improve security in South Dunedin would be a good idea, after the store has been subjected to a burglary and armed robbery since December. PHOTO: GRETA YEOMAN

Security in South Dunedin has come into the spotlight after concerns from several business owners.

South Dunedin Business Association chairman Craig Waterhouse raised the issue at a recent association meeting.

He suggested improved lighting along the two blocks of the King Edward St shopping precinct – from Cargill’s Corner to Macandrew Rd – and surveillance cameras could improve security.

The concerns come after an armed robbery of McAuliffe Jewellers just after closing time on June 6. That followed an early-morning ram-raid of appliance store DTR in May.

The jewellery premises was also burgled in December last year.

Mr Waterhouse said improving the “relatively dim” streetlighting would make the area safer after dark.

Security cameras would enable businesses to monitor people in the area and could limit crime rates, he said.

McAuliffe Jewellers owner Robert McAuliffe said he liked the idea of security cameras being installed in the area.

Better lighting would help the security and safety of people in the area after dark.

“Anything would be good.”

Mr McAuliffe said the security of his shop had been upgraded in recent months, but he did not want to discuss details.

Thomas Shoes owner David Thomas said there had been no break-ins at his shop but shoplifting was always an issue during daylight hours.

The shop limited the risk of theft by not having much cash in store and only putting one shoe of every pair on display.

“It’s a bit hard to go running around with one shoe on.”

He thought it would be a “good idea” to have security cameras.

“Basically only two blocks” of shops would need cover, Mr Thomas said.

He also wanted an increased police presence in the area at all times.

“I wouldn’t mind seeing more police on the street.”

A Dunedin City Council spokeswoman said LED lighting was being installed around the city, but she could not say when South Dunedin would get its new lights.

They would provide “better quality” light for pedestrians and drivers.

“The end result is that this area should be safer for all users.”

The council hoped to release more details later this year.

discussion about the need for security cameras would best be had with police.

But DCC staff were “happy to be part of further discussions” with business owners and community members.

South Dunedin police could not be contacted for comment by deadline but the national police media team said police were working with local councils “to help ensure South Dunedin and the wider Dunedin city are safe and pleasant places to live, work, and play”.

Police acknowledged “the effects of serious crime upon victims” and urged people who saw anything or anyone suspicious to call the police on 111, a spokeswoman said.

It was important police were aware of what was going on in the community, “as this helps determine our decision-making and deployment of staff”.

  • Since The Star went to print, police announced the arrest of a 40-year-old woman over the McAuliffe Jewellers robbery on June 6, as well as two other robberies on June 23. She was expected to appear in court today.