A 2022 Pre-Budget announcement has promised a major law and order package, giving hope to business owners in light of the growing ram raid and retail crime problem. The Government is planning to invest over $562 million into the Police Force over the next four years. The funds will assist in delivering front line growth, establishing a new Firearms Business Unit, expanding the Tactical Response Model and tackling organised crime.
“We welcome the announcement made today on the commitment to law and order funding that will support retailers. We look forward to seeing the detail and working alongside the Government and relevant agencies on initiatives to assist retailers impacted by ram raids and retail crime” said Retail NZ Chief Executive Greg Harford.
Ram raids and crime on small business owners are an increasing problem, especially in Auckland. The most recent raid occurred at 2:30 am this morning in Glenn Innes, following an attack in Panmure at 1:30 am on Monday morning. An increase in police funding will be welcomed if it means business owners will receive better protection.
“Ram raids are hitting all sorts of businesses,” said Sunny Kaushal, Chairperson of The Dairy and Business Owners Group. “We need more funding to protect ourselves. ”
A popular security method is fog machines, costing around $4,000 each, late last year 1,000 were funded for installation, however, this still left three thousand businesses unprotected. While there are no exact figures from the Pre-Budget for the installation of more fog cannons, it does give industry owners hope.
“We will be taking action to combat the recent rise in ram raids. Similar to the process that supported the installation of a thousand fog cannons in retail outlets, we will help high-risk businesses protect themselves from ram raiders,” said Police Minister Poto Williams.
The Pre-Budget also saw significant steps toward tackling gangs and a modern approach to criminal rehabilitation.
“Gangs outnumber police in three districts,” mentioned Kaushal, “Actions need to have consequences, and a penalty no matter their age.”
“We are committed to doing things differently by ensuring those who commit serious and violent crimes are held accountable, while also providing pathways out of crime for lower-risk offenders,” said Kris Faafoi, Justice Minister.
Small Business and Dairy owners hold their breath for the official 2022 Budget announcement on the 19th of May.