15 April 2024

Dairy owners urge govt to prioritise repealing of 3 strikes law

Today’s announcement that government is changing the law to give the Police greater enforcement tools that will help discourage offenders from fleeing, has been generally been well-received.

Worried small retail businesses though have welcomed the move, but are disappointed the government not doing anything about repealing the three strikes law.

When asked, Manish Thakkar, Waikato Retailers Group told NewsViews “We were begging for so long to give more powers to Police force, why they took so long? We are still happy that the government has made (its) mind.”

Thakkar worried about approaching holiday season, repealing three strikes law was more important and should have been prioritized.

“They (the government) should repeal three strike law. And why they are not taking action soon? Christmas holidays are the worse time for retailers, criminals are proactive during holidays.”

According to Thakkar, dairy owners were also not fully satisfied with government’s new financial package , including funding of the fog cannons.

“Funding for fog canons and more victim support is just a bandage, why they are not talking about taking strong actions against criminals and stopping crime? 

“If they want to support us, they should cover our insurance access and give us assurance stop crime immediately. Government declared $6m crime prevention fund long ago, still hasn’t spent even 5% of the fund. How could we trust fog cannon support?”

In a separate statement, the Waikato Retailers Group says the recent nationwide vigil to protest against the death of Janak Patel and with other dairy workers was “successful in creating solidarity between the victims of these crimes.”

The Group’s main focus, according to Thakkar, is on “harsher penalties, changes in the law, and better protection of our businesses and people who run them.” 

Repeal of three strikes law was uppermost in dairy owners mind, he says.

“The repeal of three strikes law was taken away by the Labour government. We believe re-implementation of this law will mean people (will) think twice before committing a crime as there will be a consequence to their actions. The youth criminals are currently not being charged. In Hamilton alone there have been over a 100 youth crimes, however, on record it only shows 7 or 8.

“Alongside this, all retailers are struggling with insurance as the premium has gone so high. The government should consider covering this excess as support to these already struggling communities. 

“We are not looking for a bandage over this devastating situation, but rather want the root of the problem addressed so tragedies such as these do not continue to happen in Aotearoa.”

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