Dairy sting in Sandringham: government should do more to help retailers – Wayne Brown

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The 34-year-old victim worked at the Rose Cottage Superette in Sandringham.
Photo: RNZ / Marika Khabazi

Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown wants the government to reconsider how it deals with retail crime following the violent death of a dairy farmer.

Police launched a murder investigation after a 34-year-old man who worked at the Rose Cottage Superette in Sandringham was fatally stabbed in a robbery last night.

Brown said the surge in retail crime required a stronger response than what the government had given to date.

Having to request permission to erect bollards after a ram raid was “completely bizarre,” he said.

“That doesn’t really stop crime, it just limits the damage.”

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He wanted more companies to have access to the crime prevention fund.

“Just give it to those people instead of going to the police,” he said.

Police Minister Chris Hipkins wanted an explanation from the police as to why the Auckland dairy was not getting money from the fund when it applied.

There has been a slow rollout of the program designed to protect small retailers from ram raids after a wave broke earlier this year.

Speaking to media this afternoon, Hipkins said it was unclear 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 company should be eligible, so I’ve asked for an explanation [from police] about why they didn’t get a fog cannon,” he said.

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Chris Baillie, police spokesman for the ACT party, criticized the government’s crime prevention fund.

“This terrible incident should have been a turning point for the government to take retail crime seriously. Instead, it is proof that they are not willing to do whatever it takes to keep New Zealanders safe,” he said.

“I asked Police Minister Chris Hipkins in parliament if the government would finally set 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.”

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Build a new life

Sandringham residents gathered at the Rose Cottage Superette where a worker was fatally stabbed on 23 November 2022.

Community members gathered at Rose Cottage Superette today to lay flowers and pay their respects.
Photo: RNZ / Marika Khabazi

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 nice person who always put others before himself.

More than 100 people from the community gathered at Rose Cottage Superette today to lay flowers and pay their respects to the victim and his family.

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