Safety of businesses around Auckland's City Rail Link in question after armed robbery, burglary

City Rail Link bosses in Auckland have ordered an independent safety audit after an armed robbery and a separate burglary where construction is underway.

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The project's bosses have asked for a safety audit as businesses say thieves are using the barrage of safety barriers as camouflage to hide. Source: 1 NEWS

The armed robbery happened some weeks ago at Richard Choi’s dairy, which he’s owned for a decade.

"I was very embarrassed and nervous, and quite scared as well," he told 1 NEWS.

He was working alone in the middle of the afternoon when two men made their way in with guns.

They left with cash and cigarettes.

There was another incident just days ago at Shakespeare Tavern, a bar stuck in the thick of ongoing work further down Albert Street.

Its director Sunny Kaushal told 1 NEWS a man walked in and took a heavy designer antique chair.

Just like the armed robbery, it was caught on security cameras.

Both businessmen say offenders were able to use the tall safety barricades being used during construction as camouflage to hide.

Many of the wire mesh barriers have had promotional banners stuck on them to advertise the construction project or nearby businesses.

The two incidents have prompted City Rail Link to take action.

"CRL Ltd will have an independent audit made to be satisfied work sites meet crime prevention standards," City Rail Link told 1 NEWS.

"CRL Ltd will implement any recommendation that audit may make," it said.

But it also says it, and its suppliers, have responsibilities under health and safety laws to "eliminate or minimise risk associated with its works".

"Wire mesh fencing used to isolate our worksites is wide enough to provide clear vision from both sides of the fencing," City Rail Link said.

"The scrim and hoardings were removed from our fencing before last Saturday after extreme weather… and have not been replaced."

Police have also told 1 NEWS they haven’t recorded any crime surge in the area.

"First of all, I would like to see any police presence over here, I haven't seen even the constabulary," Shakespeare Tavern owner Sunny Kaushal told 1 NEWS.

"If the police are saying there's nothing happening, I think they need to re-look at their reports…these kinds of incidents are happening almost every day," he said.

The businesses are pushing for some form of compensation for lost earnings during the lengthy City Rail Link works.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff has given a proposal to Transport Minister Phil Twyford.

"The government is still considering it," Mr Twyford's office said.

City Rail Link says the works to enhance Albert Street aren't planned to finish until November next year.