25 May 2024

“Jacinda, enough is enough, we want action and want it now”

Just down the road from where the Prime Minister and Mt Albert MP, Jacinda Ardern lives and has her electoral office, a young innocent life was lost on 23 November and a not-so-long ago married woman became a widow.

The Sandringham dairy tragedy has reignited a new wave of calls for the Government to act on rising crime across New Zealand.

What happened with 34-years-old dairy worker, Janak Patel has left the community “numbed with shock”.

The entire Indian community that dominates the dairy and liquor retail business is up in arms against aggravated robberies, ram raids, theft, and lack of any visible action on the part to government.

All Hamilton small businesses -including dairies and liquor stores are going to shut shops, go on strike tomorrow, Sunday, 27 November from 12 to 2pm in protest against rising crime. They are scheduled to assemble at The Base during this period.

The NZ Indian Central Association has called for a nation-wide protest by dairy owners after Patel’s funeral on Sunday. Shop owners are being requested to shut down shutters for half-a-day in solidarity and stand in front of the business with the message “Jacinda, enough is enough, we want action and want it now.”

An online petition was also launched yesterday, 25 November to ‘urge NZ Government to act on the retail crime emergency” and already over 1700 have signed.

‘Give a little’ campaign started to help the victim’s family, has already surpassed $47,000 (as on today afternoon).

Disgruntled community leaders and small business owners are already voicing their opinion strongly.

“I’ve been Labour’s supporter since 2001 when we first moved to New Zealand but not anymore..,” says one disgruntled Hamilton liquor store owner.

“Every morning when I leave home to work at our store, my wife fears for the worst and prays for my safety. We had a robbery attempt during broad daylight recently with one of them armed with a hammer, but fortunately any physical harm was averted…We have lost trust in the government to save us…”

Janak Patel who lost his life (courtesy/FB)

Small business owners were feeling increasingly feeling unsafe and several shop owners have already erected barriers and taken additional security measures, but there seems to be no end to the crime.

As a result of Wednesday’s fatal stabbing, Mukesh Patel, owner of South Brighton dairy in Christchurch for past 19 years, has decided to down his shutter for good and return to India.

Several others are contemplating to quit likewise fearing their safety.

The general feeling now among all New Zealanders is offenders have no fear of law, of being caught, or absence of resultant stringent punishment, if caught.

“They (the government) have blood on their hands and they are responsible for it,” Dairy and Business Association’s Sunny Kaushal said.

Sandringham Business Association chair Jithin Chittibomma told 1News “…there’s sense of grief, frustration, anger within the community, within the business community and the community in general,” he said.

“Business isn’t just brick and mortar, it’s people, people that live, breathe, work in this community.”

In a statement, ACT leader David Seymour has called upon the government to take rising retail crime seriously. “This should be a turning point where the Government finally takes retail crime as seriously as it deserves,” he said.

National Party is blaming the Labour government’s policy of reduction of prisoner strength by 30%, and soft approach to crime.

National’s Justice spokesperson Paul Goldsmith, says “Labour’s track record in law and order is weak and tired. During a miserable five years, violent crime has risen by 21 per cent, gang members have increased by 50 per cent, and a new ram-raid every 15 hours represents a staggering 500 per cent increase.”

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was campaigning in Hamilton West when the Sandringham incident was reported.

Assuring action, the Prime Minister said “…I am so sorry this happened…Our job as Government is to make sure those who commit such crimes are brought to justice and to try to prevent them from occurring at all. On both counts, we will keep doing all we can.”

Police has announced arrest of two suspects connected with that incident.

Police Minister Chris Hipkins, however, has defended crime prevention actions taken by the Government, including allocating fog cannons, security alarms, bollards and roller doors. 

According to the National Party’s Police spokesperson, Mark Mitchell, the Government’s $6 million package aimed at supporting retailers targeted by crime had been a “complete and utter failure”. 

It is pertinent to note three requests by Sandringham dairy for fog canons were earlier rejected after police visits.

Former Labour Party MP who is now contesting Hamilton West by-election, has criticized his former party and leader on his Facebook page.

“Shame on you and your government’s inaction…You have absolutely no interest in how unsafe our citizens and communities are feeling. You live in Sandringham Prime Minister. If people aren’t safe in your suburb, where are they safe?”

There is a fear Sandringham dairy incident may now turn the tide against the Labour government and decline in popularity may reflect in the outcome of not only Hamilton West by-election, but in general election next year also.

It’s time for the government to act now, before it is too late and more innocent lives are lost.

A candle light night vigil has been planned at 7pm tonight (Saturday) to pay tribute to Janak Patel.

2 comments:

  1. Jacinda is more interested in misappropriation of publicly owned assets than visiting the site of the murder, that she is a party to through her governments mismanagement.

  2. Yes, it’s time for Labour govt to go for want of any concrete action against rising crime. Mind my words, Jacinda would be stepping down before next elections to save from defeat.

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