Enough is enough our Dairy owners need to be protected

Hasumata Patel and her husband Nanu Patel were violently attacked as they were closing the door of the Opaheke Superette on Monday night. (Photo/NZ Herald)

Violence against Dairy and Superette owners judging by news reports seems to be escalating and it is not helped by people who blame the victims of the violence by chiding them for daring to sell a legal product in their shop. Dame Tariana Turia earlier this year said that while she did sympathise with dairy owners who have been attacked they wouldn’t be a target if they had refused to sell cigarettes in the first place.

Owning a Dairy or a Superette is now a dangerous business and the law does not give Kiwis working in this dangerous career the right to adequately protect themselves. How long will it be before someone is killed?

[…] Robbers bashed a South Auckland dairy owner in the face and punched him in the ribs as he was closing his shop, while another ran into their adjoining house to beat up his wife and daughter.

Opaheke Superette owner Nanu Patel was closing the roller door of his dairy just after 8.30pm on Monday when a man held up the door and started punching him inside the shop.

Patel yelled loudly for help to his wife and daughter who were sitting the lounge in their adjoining Papakura house.

But as Patel was being continuously punched in the eyes, side of his head and ribs, the second robber walked through to the house and beat up his family.

“They beat me up on the ground. I was by the door. I was closing the shop and he wouldn’t let me close it. He just came in and grabbed and tried to punch me in the face,” he told the?Herald.

“My head was pouring with blood. I had stitches – two or three I think. The cut was just at the top of my eye.”

Patel’s wife Hasumata was also hit in the face repeatedly and their 30-year-old daughter now has a broken jaw.

This is horrendous violence I hope they throw the book at them.

Patel described the men as being solidly built and strong.

“They didn’t say a word. Just bashed us up, that was it.”

[…] A 19-year-old and 28-year-old man were due to appear in Manukau District Court on Tuesday charged with aggravated robbery and wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

Patel, his wife and daughter were taken to hospital overnight but returned home early yesterday morning.

[…] It is the second time the store has been robbed in two months. In October, teenagers entered the shop wielding a hammer and knife and stole cigarettes […]

Patel said the family had been left shaken by the latest attack, which was the worst in the 27 years he had owned the store. But he said they had no choice and had to carry on working.

“It’s getting bad. Police might have to get tougher.

There has to be a way to make it too risky or hard for a person to rob a dairy. Are our?Dairy and Superette owners going to have to resort to serving people from behind bulletproof glass?

Bank tellers behind bulletproof glass in China

“There’s no safety now. Every minute you just have to be careful. You can’t leave the counter.”

Papakura MP Judith Collins said the police had done great work apprehending the alleged offenders so quickly.

“They are people that are going about their everyday lawful business and they’ve been traumatised by some horrible little thugs.

“One of the best ways dealing with seriously violent offenders is to put them in jail.”

National had launched its Safer Dairies programme while in government to give dairy owners tips of how to safe, but she said it was sometimes difficult for shopkeepers to protect themselves, given the nature of the business was to let the public into the shop.

Crime Prevention Group president Sunny Kaushal, who represented small businesses and retailers, said the situation was getting out of control and he was hearing about attacks on dairy owners and workers almost every day.

Kaushal said the courts needed to take a stronger stance on these type of offenders so there was a bigger deterrent.

“They have no fear of the law, they have no fear of the police and no fear of being caught,” he said.

“If you have seen the way they are attacking and assaulting the workers of small business in broad daylight in public areas, it tells you how fearless these offenders are. Because they know even if they get caught, the courts will let them go easily.”

With Labour in government with their catch and release policy and their determination to have less, not more people in prison I cannot see the situation improving anytime soon.

Earlier in the week, a man lost his eye! This problem of extreme violence toward Dairy and Superette owners is out of control!