Ram raids in Napier CBD impacting insurance cover, says landlord, calls for retractable bollards
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A landlord is calling for retractable bollards at both ends of Emerson St, the main shopping strip in Napier CBD. Photo / Warren Buckland
A Napier landlord says installing retractable bollards at each end of the Emerson St shopping strip will not only prevent more ram raids in the city centre, but will protect landlords who are missing out on insurance cover.
Napier City Council said it had looked into the concept of retractable bollards and its investigation found them "to be a relatively ineffective and costly solution".
The Spark store in Emerson St was broken into last week — when a hammer was believed to have been used — and the shop has been ram-raided on three occasions in the past 24 months.
The shop next door, Cosmic vape shop, was also ram-raided in January.
The landlord for both retail stores said the number of ram raids and break-ins in Emerson St was making it difficult to get full insurance cover.
Hawkhurst Property Group property manager Jon Smith, whose family have owned that wider Emerson St building for over 40 years, said he wanted to see retractable bollards at each end of the street to protect businesses.
"To solve the ram raid issue, if we had automatic bollards installed at the top and bottom of Emerson St that were retractable, they would instantly solve the problem of ram raids.
"You don't see the ram raids happening during the day, they are always during the night.
"Those bollards would come up at night and be lowered in the morning, and problem solved."
Smith said he had emailed the idea to council.
He said, at present, his insurer would not provide cover for ram raids unless there were more bollards protecting the entire building.
"[To] have bollards installed at the top and bottom of Emerson St, it means the building would be fully insurable again."
He said after working with the council following previous ram raids at the Spark store, bollards were installed out the front of that particular shop. Other parts of the building do not have the same protection.
Meanwhile, another store in Emerson St, King of Swords, was ram-raided twice in January.
Napier Mayor Kirsten Wise had said at the time that an investigation was underway looking into ways to deter offenders from entering the city centre.
When asked this week about retractable bollards as a solution, a Napier City Council spokesperson said that had been investigated but had been "found to be a relatively ineffective and costly solution".
"The police have made significant progress in addressing the issues with crime in the CBD resulting in a decrease in ram raids," the spokesperson said.
One concern with retractable bollards at each end of Emerson St is the Dalton St intersection, in the middle of the shopping strip, that would also need to be protected.
Long-term Napier shop owners have told Hawke's Bay Today about 20 years ago retractable bollards were used at each end of Emerson St but it was eventually stopped. One shop owner recalled graffiti becoming a problem during that time with reduced traffic.
Meanwhile, the Government announced on Friday this week it was adding an additional $9 million for the police's retail crime prevention programme
That fund helps victims of ram raids and aggravated robberies by installing fog cannons, security sirens, alarms, CCTV systems or upgrades, bollards, roller doors, or strengthened windows and better lighting.
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