“More challenging will be the time it takes to install them,” he said.
“The 1,000 fog cannons that are already installed took four years, and despite the police doubling the number of local contractors [who] will do the job to six, it is expected to take until the second quarter of next year for the number of installations to start to ramp up,” he said.
But he said the fog cannons were safe for the person deploying them, while diminishing the risk almost immediately.
Armed robberies at milk bars, liquor stores, jewelry stores and technology businesses are costing retailers dearly and can end in violent confrontation.
Patel’s case was particularly tragic. His funeral heard that he and his wife dreamed of running their own business and had moved to Auckland a week earlier to look after the Rose Cottage Superette while the owners were away.
Rising crime would be a state matter in Australia, but in New Zealand, without a federal system of government, the responsibility, and the blame, rests with the highest office in the country.
Despite hiring hundreds of more police officers, the government has had trouble convincing citizens that it can keep the streets safe.
The prime minister sacked police minister Poto Williams in June, citing a flawed “narrative” about crime, and replaced her with chief minister and trusted friend Chris Hipkins.
Yet every raid or ram attack raises questions about his approach to crime, with the opposition insisting he should toughen up. Opposition leader Chris Luxon, who visited Patel’s shop on Saturday with flowers, has promised a series of crackdowns on crime if he wins next year’s election.
The measures include electronic monitoring anklets for 10-year-olds and a military-run boot camp for 15-year-olds in case they reoffend.
Ardern has opposed those moves, citing a lack of evidence.
“Nobody supports increases in crime. Nobody wants to see young people get involved in crime,” he said, referring to reports that young offenders, some as young as 10, are among some offenders.
“The only debate should be what works. History has told us that training camps don’t work. They have an incredibly high recidivism rate.
“I want fewer people to be victims. I want fewer crimes to be committed. I want fewer communities affected by crime,” he said.
Milk bars closed in protest on Monday. The workers spoke about fears for themselves, their staff and their families. While a range of issues were raised, from the price of tobacco to access to the government’s crime prevention fund, protesters rallied around the call: “enough is enough”.
In Wellington, Indian Association president Dipak Bhana said crime had become more brazen and dangerous after police failed to investigate minor incidents such as shoplifting.
Reuters with Stuff.co.nz