We’ll continue to assess how an ambassador programme could work in Napier and allocate a further $415,000 per year for its operation to start in 2022.
We’ll continue to fund patrols in the CBD at a cost of $100,000 per year. There are limitations on what can be achieved with this approach as the focus is primarily on observation and referral to Police when appropriate. The patrols provide a presence but are unable to impact on the levels of begging and antisocial behaviour occurring.
Keeping our city safe is important. We’ve seen an increase in anti-social behaviour since 2015, and more visibility of rough sleeping in parts of the CBD and Marewa in particular.
While the numbers are not huge, the impact on businesses and our community has been felt. We’ve responded by introducing street patrols as a temporary measure. However, we believe the ambassador approach that is operating in other cities is a better way to address the issues.
Ambassadors are able to work with individuals to link them with services that may be able to help. At the same time, they maintain clear behavioural expectations and are equipped to deal with negative activity by liaising closely with Police and others.
We are about to start work on how this could look for Napier but we do know an ambassador programme will cost a lot more than our street patrols do.
Last year we set aside $500,000 to replace and modernise the city’s CCTV network. We see these two activities working hand in hand to effectively respond to issues of community safety in our public places.
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