Dairy owners across New Zealand are concerned that violent robberies will escalate following the increase in cigarette prices on January 1.
At the same time, design experts are urging them to counter crime by decluttering and pulling advertising hoardings off the windows – saying shops open to the public gaze make less attractive targets.
Smokers will take another hit when the tax on tobacco products increases by 10 per cent for the second year in a row on January 1 as part of the Government’s plan to make New Zealand smokefree by 2025. This increase is due to be repeated annually until 2020.
Excise tax increases have worked in the past but we have reached tipping point where they now have fuelled a massive increase in the black market and robberies.
The Pavan Dairy on Arthur St has been targeted several times, and the owner (who was too frightened to be named) fears he faces bankruptcy as a result.
Further down Arthur St, the Chhiboo family have run the Arthur St Superette for the past 20 years. Each member of the Chhiboo family has been the victim of an aggravated robbery.
Muneer was 13 years old when he had a shotgun pointed at his head, sister Samira only just escaped after robbers tried to drag her back in the shop.
The Government has created this problem through its decisions to keep increasing the tax. They need to realise that what was a very good policy in the past, no longer works.