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‘Bollards’ to $6m fund for crime-hit dairies, liquor stores and service stations

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Dairy owners have been left in confused with just $6 million for New Zealand’s entire retail sector to stop a crime wave that’s been building since 2018 and threatens law and order throughout New Zealand.

"Something is better than nothing but the government appears to have seriously confused dairies with national retailers," says Sunny Kaushal, Chair of the Dairy and Business Owners’ Group and the Crime Prevention Group.

"Dairies, liquor stores and service stations are completely different from Gucci as we’re the ones being ram raided daily. So, $6 million for New Zealand’s entire retail sector seems too little, too late.

"The fund seems only to have become a ‘political emergency’ when Gucci got ram raided in Queen Street. You can read a lot into that.

"The Minister also seemed genuinely shocked to see dairy owners at this launch. She promised me that she will meet with us next week, so I am taking her at her word and have conveyed that to her staff also at the launch.

"New Zealand’s 5,000+ dairies, liquor stores and service stations are on the crime frontline. They’ll also collect the bulk of the $1.9 billion in tobacco excise and GST for the government in 2022; tobacco excise being the government’s sixth largest source of revenue.

"Dairy owners get beaten up for the Government to get its cash, which is why we asked for help. The excise tax is driving crime so the balance of this plan to us seems off.

"We asked for fog canons we estimate would cost $13 million and equip two thirds of all dairies and service stations. We thought bollards were an excellent addition, but just 500 for all retail businesses? It leaves us asking this, just how many dairies, liquor stores and service stations will get them?

"One arm the government doesn’t seem to know what the other’s up to. It’s no secret Dr Verrall wants to slash cigarette outlets from around 6,000 to 500. What do Ministers think will happen to dairies when that’s announced? It will be open season on us and some of our people will die.

"This is also not $562 million for the emergency that is now but is divided into four years. Where’s imagination and technology too? Things like better lighting, CCTV coverage and the artificial intelligence to detect antisocial behaviour. Even converting traffic wardens into UK style Police Community Support Officers could deter criminals and not shoppers?

"There was no mention either about stiffer penalties for those committing crime as we’ve got ‘catch and release’ law and order. Crime does pay as criminals are unlucky to be caught.

"I have never once seen an MSD employee go up to a homeless person in Queen Street. I don’t know where our hardworking public service is, but surely, at least one must notice the homeless begging?

"So, something is better than nothing but to be honest, it looks more like nothing for a vast majority of crime hit dairies and related stores. This is why we look forward on the Minister honouring her word to meet, but we have also asked for an urgent meeting with the Prime Minister and Minister of Justice too," Mr Kaushal said.

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