Sharp-eyed CCTV operators were behind the recent arrest of a man who had allegedly been targeting mailrooms in apartment buildings and stealing bikes from storage areas.
The watchful operators spotted the suspect acting suspiciously on a mountain bike (which was later found to be stolen) and alerted Police to his whereabouts.
The male was arrested and has been remanded in custody on a total of 14 burglary charges and multiple drug-related charges.
Acting Sergeant Sandy Cumpstone, Wellington Prevention Coordinator, says this is just one of many occurrences which highlights the fantastic partnership in place.
“The City Safety CCTV Operators are both highly skilled and knowledgeable and are invaluable in helping to keep our citizens safe.
They are the unseen guardian angels of our city.
“We have weekly meetings with the Operators to help ensure that they have their finger on the pulse in regards to who we are looking for and who is required to be arrested.
They also help us to identify locations of interest; whether it be for drug-dealing, disorder, vulnerable people or breaches the liquor ban.
“They have a direct radio link through to our frontline staff, and provide real-time direction to officers, which is especially helpful when an offender decides to flee from a crime scene.
Thanks to their assistance we are often able to prevent incidents from escalating, identify, locate and ultimately hold more offenders accountable for their actions.”
And it’s not just burglaries that the City Safety CCTV operators are assisting Police with.
Support from the operators have allowed Police to disrupt serious criminal offending including drug deals, serious assaults and firearms offences.
Last weekend, camera operators alerted Police to two drug deals and a wanted male on Courtenay Place.
As a result officers were able to make four swift arrests, and were able to seize Methamphetamine, MDMA, Cannabis, scales, a knife and $2,900 in cash.
The operators played an integral part in each arrest; from identifying the drug dealing in the first instance, to providing updated locations after one of the males fled on foot, to advising officers of possible escape routes after another male took off on a stolen bike.
“Our Pōneke promise is all about keeping the city safe and it’s incredible to see the success of our partnership.
By pro-actively monitoring our public spaces through CCTV, our staff, supported by Police, directly contribute to a safer CBD” says Jonelle du Pont, Senior Safety Advisor at Wellington City Council.