NZ Government extends support to retailers dealing with theft and damage

NZ Government extends support to retailers dealing with theft and damage - Artificial Jewellery

The New Zealand Government has more than doubled its initial investment into the retail crime prevention program in order to support small businesses.

Police Minister Ginny Andersen confirmed a further $NZ9 million to top up the retail crime prevention fund, bringing the total to $NZ15 million.

“Last year we saw a spike in ram raids and other retail crime that was having a real impact on our communities. While those numbers are trending down, I want to make sure we are continuing to support police on prevention and reassurance in our communities,” she said.

“A total of 501 stores that were a victim of a ram raid or aggravated robbery have had quotes approved, and a total of 2,383 interventions have been approved for eligible stores. A total of 1,021 security interventions have been completed and invoiced by contractors.”

The program supports retailers install fog cannons, security sirens, alarms, CCTV systems, bollards or similar security measures, as well as roller doors and other criminal deterrents.

“The retail crime prevention program is delivering for dairies and small stores and the feedback we are getting from the community is great. They really appreciate the backing the Government has given them and it’s great they are getting on board with us,” Andersen added.

“The Government is making sure that victims of retail offending are supported, while also taking a pragmatic approach to make sure that those who are offending are held to account, and where appropriate into programs to help get them back on the right track.”

In October Jeweller detailed concerns that a brutal crime wave targeting New Zealand’s jewellery retailers was as sophisticated as it was devastating.

Michael Hill International recently confirmed that a store in Takapuna would be permanently closed as it was the ‘most ram-raided’ store in the network. The store has been targeted three times this year alone.

Speaking with Checkpoint, CEO Daniel Bracken said that incidents had a lasting emotional impact on staff and that his business was just one of many to suffer.

“Our number one priority is the ongoing safety and security of our team and of our customers. It was not a decision that was taken lightly and it’s certainly one that we will continue to review,” Bracken said.

“A lot of other jewellers are getting hit significantly. A lot of other retailers, sports goods retailers in particular, are getting hit, it’s not just Michael Hill.”

He added: “This is a national problem impacting not just retail, it’s impacting lots of businesses – big and small. We’re doing our bit, we’re certainly investing [in security measures].”

In another incident involving a Michael Hill store, thieves were apprehended by shopping centre security after breaching a store armed with knives and hammers – but not before causing extensive damage and littering the ground with diamonds.

More reading
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New Zealand jewellers devastated by crime wave


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