Auckland mayor Wayne Brown wants the government to rethink how it handles retail crimes following the violent death of a dairy worker.
Police launched a homicide inquiry after a 34-year-old man who was working at the Rose Cottage Superette in Sandringham was fatally stabbed in a robbery last night.
Brown said the spate of crime on retail businesses required a stronger response than what the government had provided so far.
Having to seek consent for bollards after a ram-raid was “completely bizarre”, he said.
“That doesn’t actually stop crime, it just limits the damage.”
He wanted to see more businesses have access to the crime prevention fund.
“Just give it to those people rather than having to go through the police,” he said.
Minister of Police Chris Hipkins wanted an explanation from police as to why the Auckland dairy was not given money from the fund when it applied.
There has been a slow rollout of the programme designed to protect small retailers from ram-raids after a spate occurred earlier this year.
Speaking to media this afternoon, Hipkins said it was not clear to him why the dairy was not approved for a fog cannon and he wanted to know why.
“Based on what I can see, that business should have qualified so I’ve asked for an explanation [from police] as to why they didn’t get a fog cannon,” he said.
ACT Party police spokesperson Chris Baillie criticised the government’s crime prevention fund.
“This awful incident should have been a turning point for the government to take retail crime seriously. Instead it is proof that they’re not prepared to do what’s necessary to keep New Zealanders safe,” he said.
“I asked Police Minister Chris Hipkins in Parliament whether the government would finally fix the criteria in light of the tragedy. He admitted he didn’t know why the dairy hadn’t been helped, but there are no plans to change the criteria.”
Building a new life
Meanwhile, family friends of the victim and his wife said his death was a tragedy for the young couple who were just starting to build a life in New Zealand.
They said the victim was a kind person who always put others before himself.
More than 100 people from the community gathered today at Rose Cottage Superette to lay flowers and pay their respects to the victim and his family.