Business Buddies

Police Report

WHATSAPP BUSINESS BUDDIES

An update from your Communities Policing team in regard to safety amongst businesses in the Pukekohe CBD.

A large percentage of you are already using WhatsApp to message each other about suspicious behaviour and causes for concern which is great, and we have been able to follow up on some of this information. Also, some of the information, pictures etc have been pieces of a bigger puzzle and lead to great results.

Can we ask that you still report any incidents of concern such as thefts etc through the correct channels 111 if it’s happening now or 105 either by phone or online if it's already happened.

An idea I floated with the Business Association and a few of retailers in the CBD was around using WhatsApp as a buddy type system (WhatsApp Business Buddies). For example, if you felt uncomfortable with something that was happening in your shop and just need a few extra bodies floating around then a simple message sent out to that effect would mean anyone free that’s nearby could just pop in.

This exact scenario happened a few days ago with the ladies at Sterling Sports. They had a young gentleman in the store that was basically hanging around and appeared to not be himself. The girls all felt uneasy so sent a message out via “WhatsApp asking if anyone was free to pop down. The response was amazing with around six different shop owners appearing within minutes.

"I'd like to personally thank those people for showing their support and looking out for each other when needed"

Id like to personally thank those people for showing their support and looking out for each other. It showed that the idea can work and that we live and work in such a great community. I understand Abbey and Kevin (Constable’s Paterson and Smith) also walked past at the same time and spoke to the male.

I would love to see this concept working as generally those persons wanting to engage in theft from your stores are uncomfortable to do so when there are multiple other persons in the store. I do temper all this with the reminder that if you are feeling unsafe or something has occurred that should mean we should be attending still give us a call.

Thank you all for the work and contributions to make to our wonderful community.

Nga mihi nui

Sergent Wayne Paxton