Hamilton businessman asks for more support after robberies
A Hamilton businessman besieged by young offenders is calling on the government to get them off the streets longer.
Harry Luther’s two food shops have been targeted on several occasions in recent weeks and he now fears the extra security he has installed could tempt criminals to break into him during the day.
“They know they won’t go to jail and they’ll get away with it, please it’s not the choice of New Zealanders, migrants like us are hard working I’m really asking you to change the law,” he said. said.
He has new bars throughout his store, a new rolling door and new kiosks, costing around $30,000.
Footage provided to 1News by Luther included two flights from the same night a few days ago.
A second company owned by Luther was also targeted in February, and then again just weeks ago.
“I’m just really scared all the time that I think I’m going to get robbed.”
He says he recognizes offenders on social media, showing off to each other.
“They’re the ones posing on Instagram and Facebook,” he told 1News.
So many Waikato retailers want help that one man switched companies last year.
READ MORE: Special police team tackles causes of rising Waikato youth crime
Daniel Nieuwenhuyzen used to sell doors, but now specializes in security and is setting up a new warehouse to meet demand.
“There is a greater demand than we can supply,” Nieuwenhuyzen said.
“We do a minimum of advertising and we receive two to three requests a week.”
A Waikato police unit created this year to tackle such crimes has made more than 200 arrests, but retailers say offenders are often so young they are back on the streets very quickly.
They want the government to detain these offenders longer and allow them to run their businesses safely.
“They should give them an education there, they can do anything, anything they think is bettered,” Luther said.
The government says it is understanding.
READ MORE: Special police team targeting Waikato youth crime makes 150 arrests
“Absolutely, we understand the frustration, it’s frustrating for us too, the whole country is feeling the frustration,” Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis said.
“I think we have to keep things in perspective, it feels like there’s more crime, I think it’s being reported more, I think there’s a bit of a spike, I don’t think whether it’s a trend in fact, we’ve seen over the last decade that youth crime is on the decline.
Justice Minister Kiri Allan said work was underway to improve youth justice, but more detentions did not appear likely.
“I don’t think that’s really where we’re headed,” Allan said.