A series of thefts, including so-called “ram raids,” has hit businesses in Auckland over the past few days, increasing the risk of losses for many establishments.
A ram raid is a burglary in which a heavy vehicle is driven into a business establishment to bring down its doors or windows and allow criminals to loot its contents.
At around 2:30am on Tuesday, luxury clothing store Huffer on Posonby Road was targeted by ram raiders, with around $20,000 of merchandise stolen, the NZ Herald reported. This was the fourth such break-in to target Huffer this year.
Many business owners are installing bollards on their storefronts in order to deter ram raiders, and city transport authority Auckland Transport (AT) has taken action to support businesses.
AT has designated a staff member to handle all applications and queries about the installation of bollards for safety and security purposes. The authority said it is also working towards longer-term solutions to the problem, including alternatives to bollards.
“To help business owners navigate our application processes, we’ve developed updated guidance material which guides them through the process and gives them a single point of contact,” said John Strawbridge, AT’s group manager for parking services and compliance. “Lastly, we’re running workshops with businesses and business associations across Auckland to help build their understanding of how the process works and when they should consider applying.”
Strawbridge said that AT will give consideration to bollard installation applications that have been required or recommended for insurance purposes.
Businesses are required to attach a police report or insurance claim/recommendation as part of the written application process. AT also provided a list of necessary permits and safety guidelines regarding bollard installation.