Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Kate Hawkesby: If I was National, I'd be making law and order a big issue


I popped into my local dairy the other day and was surprised to see two policemen standing there.

I asked if they’d had a burglary, and one of the owners told me, not today, the Police were just here talking to them about safety protocols and how to beef up security. I asked why, had something happened.

They said they’d been ram raided, and since then they’d installed a fog cannon machine which she pointed to on the ceiling – a large contraption resembling an air-conditioning unit which, once a button is pressed by staff, sends immediate fog throughout the shop allowing staff to scramble and escape quickly if an intruder came in with a weapon.

Sounded more LA than Auckland, but here we are. It’s becoming commonplace apparently in many cities throughout the country now. I asked her if she or the staff felt scared or worried, or whether they largely feel safe at work. She said the threat of intruders with weapons is always a worry and they want to ensure everyone feels as safe as possible.

The problem with the ram raiders is they’re getting more slick. No sooner had I left the dairy than I saw a Herald piece talking about “brazen youths increasingly targeting stores with ram raids and burglaries in the dead of night.” It said this “rise in suburban warfare had businesses working out what they can do to protect themselves.” The article said “it’s a similar story throughout Auckland's eastern suburbs, throughout the city, and the rest of the country. In Auckland suburbs, the sight of Emergency Glass plywood covering broken shopfronts is becoming an all-too-familiar sight,” and as the reporter points out, the big question for businesses is what can Police do about it? The story says that “police say they do their best.”

But we all know that means a report is written up and filed away, and that’s that. The reality is many of these offenders are too young to charge, many of them are known to police and just get taken back home, many are never caught at all.

The frustrating thing about the ones who just get taken back home is that they have zero chill about returning to the same crime.

I mean why wouldn’t you when you don’t get charged for it and nothing happens except a ride home?

So I was pleased to see local cops in our area taking it seriously and being proactive about future-proofing the place from further attack. This involved bollards – no cheap expense, more alarms and cameras, the fog machine, I mean this all admin and expense for small businesses, all to protect themselves, because if they don’t, who will?

It’s not just ram raids though, retailers are getting targeted with theft and burglaries more often and they’re fed up too. But should we be surprised? Once criminals know there are no consequences for their actions, that Police are either too stretched or too busy or won’t do anything anyway, then the obvious result is more crime.

I know the big election issue next year will be the economy, but if I was the opposition, I’d be going big on law and order too.

Kate Hawkesby is a political broadcaster on Newstalk ZB - her articles can be seen HERE.


Phil said...

I read somewhere that the prison population has dropped by nearly 2,500 since 2020. Nearly a quarter of prison population released in a year and we have the lowest prison roll in 30 years. I don't have statistics but the Government pledged to drop the Maori prison roll to a per capita basis so assume this is happening.

Janine said...

I personally think there are many issues National could be campaigning on.
The most pressing surely has to be the issue of the "loss of democracy". Clearly overlooked by the MSM, who barely publish any articles regarding Three Waters( already progressing I believe), He Puapua and a detailed analysis of what that will mean for non- Maori,the whole covid debacle and the disgraceful funding of our MSM making them a propaganda arm of the government.

Can we also get some fair media coverage for the minor parties leading up to the next election?

Come on Kate! You know what the big issues about putting some detailed research into the above major issues and getting it published? We can then have a clear idea who to vote for.

Anonymous said...

a significant rise in carjacking by teenagers in the US has been attributed to covid limiting schools and supervision. perhaps there is a common link.