‘Robbed’, ‘ram-raided’, ‘murdered’
Wellington: As incidents of crime and robbery continue unabated in New Zealand, a group of dairy store owners, mostly of Indian descent, presented a petition signed by 34,000 people to the New Zealand Parliament in June, calling for government action.
The petitioners have called on the government to take a harder stance on crime, with more police presence on the streets, legal penalties for parents of youth offenders, and stronger punishments for teenagers who were offending, the NZ Herald reported. “There was a consensus among Kiwis that something needed to be done. We are being burgled and robbed 18 times a day, we are getting ram-raided every ten hours,” Sunny Kaushal, who leads the Dairy and Business Owners Group in New Zealand, said.
The petition, which says ‘enough is enough’, comes after 34 year-old Indian-origin dairy worker Janak Patel was brutally stabbed to death last year during an alleged robbery at the Rose Cottage Superette in Sandringham. Three men have been charged with his murder and will go to trial next year. Following Patel’s death, protests erupted in New Zealand with people turning up in huge numbers asking the government to do more to combat robberies.
Even though the country announced new measures to counter retail crime, which included providing a NZ$ 4,000 subsidy to shop owners to install fog cannons in their shops to stop burglaries, crime has continued unabated. Patel’s father, who was among the petitioners, demanded a strong action from the government in preventing such tragedies in future.
The group also presented a manifesto, which called on the government to reform the laws of self-defence and the defence of property based on the Australian Criminal Code, among other things. “We need to feel safe in our communities... It is time for red lines before we have another murder in New Zealand,” Kaushal told NZ Herald.
Just a day before the petition was presented, three masked men rammed their way into a vape store owned by an Indian-origin Pawik Patel in Goulstone Road, and stole products worth NZ$ 8000. Patel, owner of Boom Vape Shop, said that he has been forced to shut his shop temporarily due to the damage caused by the burglary early on a mid-June morning. CCTV footage showed a car with three masked men pulling up to the kerb before getting in position and ramming the shop’s storefront twice. The car rammed into the shop’s door with more force to open it, causing smoke to come out of the car. The trio is seen in the footage taking several loads of products from the top shelf.