Do you feel safe in this country right now? Safer than you did five years ago?
The Police Minister thinks you do. She went on TV yesterday, and when asked if we feel safer she said: ‘More police on the beat make our communities safer’ and then tried to gaslight you into thinking that the crime isn’t as bad as you think it is.
The reason the retail crime numbers are up is because there is this great new app that allows retailers to report the crime to police. It's not because crime itself is up, but because reporting is up.
Well, maybe the reason reporting is up is because there is more to report, because crime is up.
But hey, I didn’t work for five years in the police policy unit so I don’t know, I might be oversimplifying it.
I'm not going to argue about whether crime is happening or not. I'm just going to list for you the significant crimes that I have seen in the news in the last week or so. And you can decide if you feel safe or not, like Ginny thinks you do.
On Sunday last week, workers at an Auckland liquor store locked in a burglar carrying a screwdriver, hoping the police would be able to arrest him- he escaped through the roof.
Two days later, the workers at another Auckland liquor store chased five youths armed with a bat and a knife out of the store while a witness blocked their getaway car with a ute.
That same day, a 15-year-old girl was shot when a group of thugs in a car got angry in a road rage incident on Auckland’s Southern Motorway and then chased the car she was in for several kilometres before shooting at her.
A couple of days later, a video emerged of a group of about six people viciously beating one person lying motionless on the ground in Quay Street, Auckland.
This weekend, police arrested three teenagers for brazen daylight robberies at Michael Hill Jewellery stores in Auckland and New Plymouth, and a gas station. That sounds more sophisticated than kids just making a mistake, right?
Overnight, the doors of two businesses were hacked at with an axe during a three-hour crime spree across eight shops and businesses in Christchurch.
A family is considering leaving New Zealand because their 15-year-old boy had been chased home from school while being threatened with stabbing for the second time.
The post shop in Titirangi is closing for good after being attacked seven times.
That is just the last eight days, and just what’s stuck in my mind.
In the last five years, retail crime has almost doubled. Violent crime is up 40 percent, serious assaults up 120 percent, and acts intended to cause injury are up 30 percent.
1800 extra police is welcome, but we’re going to need more than that if we want to persist with emptying our prisons onto our streets and giving Kiwis this much crime to live through on a weekly basis.
So, you decide if you feel safer. Or if you think the crime is just the result of a cool new app.
Or if Ginny just doesn’t know what to do, other than try to trick you into it isn’t real.
Heather du Plessis-Allan is a journalist and commentator who hosts Newstalk ZB's Drive show.
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