Whangarei shooting tragedy highlights risks to workers of visiting marginalised people in their homes

After the tragic shootings in Whangarei on Wednesday one risk expert says the growing social divide in the country is heightening the risk to workers who have to visit people in their homes.

Netanya and Wendy Campbell were shot dead by Quinn Patterson while they visited Patterson's property as part of an inspection and to install smoke alarms.

Patterson died after his house went up in flames during a shoot-out with police. 

Duncan Holland from Total Risk Management told 1NEWS added pressure on the most vulnerable in society can push them towards extreme behaviour.

"Anyone who goes to site is facing a potential risk, our society is basically pushing more and more people into a corner," Mr Holland says.

In an effort to minimise the risk his company offers safety training to social agencies, councils and utility companies using three core principles, risk assessment, de-escalation and disengaging.

"People are scared, and when people are scared they do things they wouldn't normally do and sometimes those can be catastrophic things," he said.

General Manager of Auckland Property Management Celia Burberry looks after more than 35 property managers and knows the risks they face first-hand.

She told 1NEWS in recent times her staff have faced death threats, while some have been stalked and abused.

Recently her company has started using a mobile app to pinpoint where their people are, they also employ code words to phone in if they're in trouble.

"Another thing we've put in place to try and manage risk is to request our tenants register prior to viewing an open home so we have some idea of who's coming," Ms Burberry said.

It's hoped the increasing awareness of risk management around home visits means another incident like the tragedy which happened in Whangarei can be avoided.

A risk expert says pressures on the vulnerable can push people towards extreme behaviour. Source: 1 NEWS

'It's a disgrace for our city' - Queen St businesses calling for action over intimidating behaviour of Auckland beggars

Businesses in Auckland's Queen Street say the area is fast getting a reputation for menacing behaviour after dark and they're calling for action to be taken.

Auckland Business Association Heart of the City wants to see more police on the beat, after what they say is an up swell in reports of people being intimidated in the CBD area.

Greg Loveridge manages several central city buildings and told 1NEWS his clients are frightened.

"I've had one of our major tenant's telling us that he has to get his female staff out of the building when it's still light, they don't feel safe, they won't work late."

Police Minister Paula Bennett says the allocation of resources is a decision for the area commander who says they've boosted police presence during the day.

"Homelessness is not an offence and begging is not an offence, it's when it escalates to the point where people feel intimidated or it becomes disorderly.

"That's when the police will certainly intervene," Inspector Matt Shroj.

Some local businesses are not convinced by this answer though, saying more needs to be done to make Auckland's CBD feel safer at night.

"The police aren't doing anything about it, it's a disgrace for our city," Mr Loveridge said.

Local businesses are calling for urgent action and more police on the beat. Source: 1 NEWS


Cash taken as armed men rob Hastings TAB

Two men are wanted over the aggravated robbery of a TAB in Hastings yesterday in which a gun was brandished.

Police say the pair entered the Stortford Lodge TAB on Heretaunga St at 9.55pm yesterday and threatened staff with the weapon.

The pair made off with a sum of cash and fled in a car, which police say is described as four-door station wagon.

No one was injured during the incident.

Police say the two men were dressed in dark coloured clothing and had their faces covered.

Police car Source: 1 NEWS