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The dairy owners: ‘It’s a crime emergency’

The Wairarapa dairy community is calling on the Government to acknowledge a “crime emergency”.
In a letter to Wairarapa MP Kieran McAnulty, the Wairarapa Dairy Association said it aligned with dairy owners across New Zealand after the stabbing of Janak Patel in Auckland last week.
It said the whole community knew that crime was getting “worse and worse, day by day”.
The letter came after Sunday’s candle-lit vigil and a protest outside McAnulty’s office on Monday.
Northend Store owner Mrudang Patel said Janak Patel’s death was the realisation of everyone’s worst-case scenario.
“It is not just about fear and anger. We personally feel like we are being punished.
“We are standing behind a shop for 12 hours a day serving the community and we deserve dignity and respect.
“It should not have happened. We would like the system to do something for us.”
The association asked that the government acknowledge that there was a crime emergency and that most crimes were not reported.
It said the community needed the police and the Ministry of Social Development aligned to “deal with feral families who don’t care where their children are or what they get up to”.
“The role of the state is to intervene in the interests of the child, not allowing the dysfunction to continue.”
Additionally, the association said the nation needed “beggars and the homeless off the streets” and placed in specialist centres.
It proposed the system would be modelled on refugee resettlement to “fix addiction” and increase numeracy and literacy levels.
“Begging is part of the broken panes we have in society.”
The association asked that a “broken windows” approach be adopted, where no crime was minor.
It hoped council staff could be used to deter criminals but not shoppers.
It asked that artificial intelligence-based and streetlight CCTV were deployed in the region, in partnership with district councils.
“Close blindspots and direct camera operators to where issues are and track suspects automatically.”
The association said the law of self-defence needed to be modelled on Australia’s.
It said the law should allow retailers “and anyone” to defend themselves, their family, their customers, or their property.
The association said that the government needed to increase its crime fund to $30 million to provide security systems faster and win back the trust of small business owners.
“Business people have lost general faith in the system.”
The association also asked the government to shift smokers to vape products, it said it was unable to market vapes with only three flavours allowed to be sold.
“We need the vape law to be reverted because that might help about 450,000 current smokers.”
McAnulty said he met with the association on Monday to hear their safety concerns and expressed his condolences to them.
“I’ve passed the letter and themes of the discussion on
to my ministerial colleagues.”
He said he was incredibly saddened to hear about the homicide outside Sandringham’s Rose Cottage Superette.
“As a small country, events like this are felt by everyone. My thoughts are with everyone who has been affected, and especially with the friends and family as they grieve.”
McAnulty said the additional measures and funding announced by the government on Monday would help address many of the concerns the association raised in its letter.
He said everyone should be able to go to work without fear.
“I’ll continue to engage with the association and wider community.”

Grace Prior
Grace Prior
Grace Prior is a senior reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age with a keen interest in environmental issues. Grace is the paper’s health reporter and regularly covers the rural sector, weather, Greater Wellington Regional Council, and coastal stories.

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