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So another day, another shop closing for good because they’re fed up with being robbed.
That sees off West Auckland’s only Post Shop – seven ram raids and break ins have pushed them over the edge.
They’ve been in business 20 years. Now, they’re closing their doors for good.
It beggars belief that business owners are getting run out of town by thugs and criminals, but that’s where we are now. Remember Michael Hill Jeweller in Auckland’s Takapuna shut up shop after several burglaries and ram raids too?
Reported retail crime doubled between 2018 and 2022. Auckland Business Chamber’s Simon Bridges, when commenting on the violent attack by the ferry terminal in the CBD recently, said it’s actually beyond a social issue now; it’s an economic one too.
People and businesses do not want to be where the criminals are - and at this stage, they’re everywhere. Not just our big centres but small town New Zealand too.
One woman wrote to me and said Palmerston North is so bad now that she worries about going into the main shops with her kids, and not surprising given the Mob behaviour and gang trouble in that part of the world recently.
But according to Police Minister, Ginny Andersen, everything’s tickety boo. There’s no more crime she says, just more reporting of it.
Well if she honestly believes that, then she is literally the only person who does.
A fatal mistake governments make is when they deny stuff isn’t happening, especially stuff we see before our very eyes on a daily basis.
It’s like when the PM said there was no looting happening post the cyclone in Hawkes Bay, when very clearly everyone else knew it was going on. You can’t gaslight your way out of a problem by telling the people most affected by it, that it’s not happening.
Paula Bennett wrote at the weekend that, “We are told continuously by Police Minister Ginny Andersen that we feel safer… Retailers definitely don’t feel safer and for good reason. Ram raids are up 500 per cent since 2018. Andersen said that ram raids are continuing to trend downwards, ignoring that there were 51 ram raids in March this year, up by 24 per cent on the month before… the number of victimisations for violent crime has jumped 33 per cent since 2017,” so she makes the point, no, we don’t feel safer.
And she’s right, she’s feeling the pulse on this more accurately than the Police Minister herself.
We probably all know somebody personally now who has been impacted by crime, even if it’s our local dairy.
And the crime’s more brazen these days, that’s one thing the Minister does accept. But when five of our police districts now have more gangs than police officers, we know we have a problem.
And even when the government reaches its 1800 new cops mark next month, the Police Association says that’s still not enough, it doesn’t make up for all those who’ve left - we need double that many more now.
You can’t argue with facts, and the stats say that ‘between 2017 and 2022, the number of serious assault reports increased by 121%, while reports of acts intended to cause injury went up by almost 30%.”
This is not a safe country anymore, and it seems the last person to wake up to this fact sadly, is the Police Minister herself.
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