Stirling Sports in Cambridge has been broken into for the seventh time in five years.
Cambridge’s businesses have pooled resources to set up their police station with coverage of the town’s CCTV network.
There were three burglaries in the Cambridge CBD in as many weeks, the latest was a smash and grab at Stirling Sports on Victoria Street at 1.10am on Sunday.
It was the seventh time the sports shop had been targeted in five years.
Sports World also on Victoria Street and New World on nearby Anzac Street had been hit by criminals in recent weeks while Cambridge Jewellers was ram raided in November 2020.
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Cambridge Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Kelly Bouzaid said businesses chipped in to connect the Cambridge police station with the town’s CCTV network about two weeks ago.
The chamber found out the cameras could only be viewed at the Te Awamutu police station, 25km away.
“It has cost quite a bit of money to do that installation but it’s proving worthwhile,” Bouzaid said.
Cambridge Police Senior Sergeant Ben Joll said the cameras allowed police to respond immediately.
“It also allows us to review footage to assist with investigations.”
Joll said the system would be transferrable when the police station moved from Dick Street to Victoria Street.
Bouzaid said police responded to the Stirling Sports break-in immediately on Sunday morning.
She met with police on Monday to come up with more options for businesses to detect and stop crime.
“We need to gather our retailers and to offer them some tools and support to keep their business safe.
“We have the police but we believe the business community also needs to be a bit more vigilant.”
The chamber and police were hoping to work with the co-owners of the New World supermarket, who would share some of their advice on crime prevention with other retailers.
“Sadly New World has been frequented by shoplifters and other criminals and the owners want to share what they have learned,” Bouzaid said.
“It is frustrating for retailers who have a hard enough job turning a dollar let alone face thousands of dollars of damage to their shop, wiping out all of their hard work.”
Bouzaid said the chamber had set up a closed online page for the business community to share details of crime.
But she said it was important for the community to report crime to police, and not just go on social media complaining about it.
“The police need our help to build a picture so they can prevent crime.
“Also, there is a myth that the Cambridge police station is not staffed at night, that is inaccurate.
”Police were on the scene when criminals were offending at Stirling Sports on Sunday morning and it’s really important for people to know we do have police at our station.”