North Shore residents ‘terrified, frustrated’ at crime they claim is linked to social housing | #College. | #Students

Locals call for change as businesses are robbed and residents live in fear. Video / NZ Herald

Auckland residents and business owners have been left “terrified” and “frustrated” over repeat disorderly behaviour allegedly linked to a nearby emergency housing facility.

NZ Herald Focus understands there have been more than 60 occurrences linked to the Leroy Suites in Rosedale on the North Shore since April and that police have attended a range of incidents.

The suites are currently owned by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development and are run day-to-day by a contractor, Kāhui Tū Kaha.

The ministry says the 63 units “provide accommodation to ensure people don’t need to return to homelessness”.

Police refused to confirm and/or comment on callouts to the address due to “privacy reasons”.

The ministry also declined to comment on the allegations, instead saying all people in the facility have access to wraparound support, including “access to health services, budgeting advice and support accessing government services”.

The owner of a nearby liquor store, who wished to remain anonymous, told Focus he’s regularly robbed by often intoxicated individuals.

It had forced him to invest thousands in security cameras and he now has 12 installed in his 30sq m store.

He believed the offenders reside at the Leroy Suites.

“They just cause so much trouble, so much,” he said.

“Since 2014 to 2018, in that period, I only ever had one shoplifter. But since those people moved in, this year, we got more than 10 shoplifters.

“One guy came in and continuously stole from us over four days, twice a day, one in the morning and again at night. He walked into the chiller, would take a can and just walk away.

Thirsty Liquor East Coast Bays that allegedly has had liquor stolen by guests from Leroy Suites. Photo / Jed Bradley
Thirsty Liquor East Coast Bays that allegedly has had liquor stolen by guests from Leroy Suites. Photo / Jed Bradley

“And then new residents would move in and more of them would come and rob the store.”

Almost all the shops on the street have reported disorderly behaviour to police and expressed concern.

A police spokesperson said they’re “not aware of any significant uptakes” in incidents at stores on Rosedale Rd.

They “advise those store owners who have had issues with disorders, thefts and burglaries to please lodge complaints with police and ensure they have the right security measures in place”.

They said police “weren’t in a position to make speculations about where the offenders come from, or if there are any trends among the offenders”, and said it would be “inappropriate to speculate on, or single out, certain areas or institutions without facts”.

Meanwhile, Rangitoto College confirmed they’ve had to contact authorities due to individuals outside the school grounds.

But they said they’ve only had one incident when an individual was on school property.

One concerned parent said she no longer allows her children to walk past the facility, while another said they spotted an intoxicated man outside the college during school hours in August before calling police.

They said they followed the man in their car and watched him walk back to the Leroy Suites.

The Leroy Suites has 63 units. Photo / Jed Bradley
The Leroy Suites has 63 units. Photo / Jed Bradley

A resident at the neighbouring retirement village, meanwhile, told Focus they were attacked and robbed while on a walk a few months ago and had since felt unsafe to leave.

It’s left locals in the area calling for something to be done.

Upper Harbour Local Board chairwoman Anna Atkinson said while the Local Board haven’t received any official complaints about the suites she was personally aware of some “small issues” around the location.

She said she was due to meet police in December and the issue would be on the agenda.

The Leroy Suites was originally contracted by the ministry to provide Covid-19 response accommodation during the first lockdown in 2020.

The facilities were established with a concerted effort from agencies to “house people who were experiencing street homelessness or had no other place to live”.

At the peak, there were 1195 Covid-19 response motel places across Aotearoa. As at September 30, 2022, there were 635 places and these continue to reduce as housing supply, including public and transitional housing, increases.

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