By Patrick Laverick
The State Government has awarded a $10,000 community safety grant to Pakington Street to help reduce crime along the shopping strip.
Business owner Niki Nurnaitis applied for the grant earlier this year with the help of Geelong Council, with the money to be spent on raising awareness about crimes and training retailers.
“Most of the money will go to education and literature, training retailers to be more aware of crimes and crime prevention.”
The grant comes after a spate of robberies and break-ins along Pakington Street earlier in the year.
Police and council have held a number of meetings for businesses to discuss crime prevention strategies, using the example of a strategy used by traders in Ocean Grove.
“Everybody was presenting a united front, putting cash draws up, signage saying no cash on premises, by presenting a united front – it was shown down there that it reduced crime significantly.
“We’re hoping the same will happen here,” Ms Nurnaitis said.
Buster’s Bar and Grill owner Buster Herman said the best way to guarantee the same success was for every trader to follow the advice from police.
“They have kits with the ‘no cash left on premises’ stickers and advice to put the till at the front door.
“Everyone has to be on board – if there’s chinks in the armour or a weak link in the chain, if there’s money in one place they’ll come there.”
“We had a bit of a spate here earlier in the year, people were feeling terrorised.
“I had residents coming here in tears, one lady in particular came in and said she put a security door on the front door, but they got in through the garage, out the back.
“She’s on her own, her husband had recently died, they ransacked the place and she’s gutted, she was in tears.”