Stop beating up dairy owners, physically and metaphorically

Opinion 21/03/2018
Photo: The Project.

By Anand Hira, RadioLIVE producer.

OPINION: Nearly 500 robberies or burglaries in the last 13 months have targeted cigarettes and it’s mind-blowing nothing has been done.

After dairy owners begged the Government for action, nothing. After they pleaded just to be allowed to defend themselves, nothing. After another assault, this time with a meat cleaver, again nothing.

That story would be depressing enough, but it’s not the whole story. It’s actually worse than that.

It seems that a culprit has been identified. The reason these tax paying workers are being targeted in their workplaces? Cigarettes.

Someone gets beaten to a pulp and the only reason is the loot was too valuable a target. A legal product is to blame, not the criminals.

That’s like blaming cash for why you got mugged, blaming the crossing for getting run over or blaming gravity after being knocked to the ground by a king hit.

It doesn’t end there; many have stated that if dairy owners don’t want to get attacked they should find another job. One that is less dangerous.

..People have the audacity to blame the shop owners for being attacked.

It is running a dairy. How much safer can you get than operating a store with everyday items that can be purchased just about everywhere? Generally with a local and loyal clientele, selling directly to the community you live in.

The Government says cigarettes are dangerous but refuse to ban them. Instead they’ve jacked up the tax so they can continue to rake in the cash. Now they refuse to deal with the consequences of such high cigarette prices.

The police said they don’t want the public defending themselves after Auckland dairy owners called for the right to bear firearms behind their counters. The police then failed to take any steps to protect those same dairy owners, thus letting criminals know they can get away with it.

Both the Government and police refuse to engage in any conversation around properly punishing these criminals, so those who do get caught know they will just get a slap on the wrist.

And then people have the audacity to blame the shop owners for being attacked.

These dairy owners get punished by getting the crap kicked out of them, both metaphorically and literally. Or if they are really lucky they will no longer be able to sell cigarettes, effectively cutting into their profits and passing the problem on to whoever can sell them.

I want the Government to take action. Make the punishment fit the crime. I want police to step up and catch these criminals. I want everyone to have the right to defend themselves without fear of prosecution.

Because right now it’s just victim blaming.

Congratulations.

Anand Hira is a producer for RadioLIVE.