Armed robberies, how do we stop them?

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A spate of aggravated dairy and petrol station robberies in Tauranga in the last couple of months has left one question in people's minds – how do we stop this sort of crime?

SunLive asked a number of people in the community the question.

While there was no real answer, one general suggestion that kept popping up was for the shops to stop selling cigarettes.

This may seem like a simple solution, but it's properly not a practical one for the service stations and dairies in the community.

With the increasing amount of armed robberies taking place, police are launching a new taskforce to deal with such crime.

Police Commissioner Mike Bush announced earlier this month a campaign targeting those responsible for receiving property stolen in aggravated robberies.

As part of the campaign, police will be running a series of targeted ads on social media and on national and district Facebook pages encouraging people to call Crimestoppers if they have any information on stolen goods from aggravated robberies.

“Crimestoppers is an avenue that police use to enable members of the community to provide information on crimes anonymously, and we encourage anyone who has information which could help us identify offenders to use that option if they are not comfortable contacting their local police or providing their details to us,” says Mike.

“Police will be offering a reward for any information provided to Crimestoppers as part of this stolen goods campaign that leads to a successful prosecution.  It's important to note however that to be eligible for a reward you will need to provide your details to Crimestoppers when you call.”

The Crimestoppers campaign and associated reward offer will initially run until the end of June. Crimestoppers can be contacted on 0800 555 111. 

Police are also putting more resources on the streets, high-visibility patrols, in high-risk areas at high-risk times, to deter offenders and improve response times if something does happen.

“We have formed a special taskforce to focus on aggravated robbery, using street-level intelligence and social media as an investigative tool,” says Mike.

The new taskforce will be made up of more than 20 officers working across Auckland.

“Our approach to these robberies, as with all crime, has three areas of focus - to catch offenders, prevent crime from happening in the first place, and understand what is driving the offending.

“We are working hard to understand the drivers of this type of offending, and why it is on the rise. It is complex and we are working with other government agencies and NGOs on the issues.

“We are also working with community groups and business associations, both to address their concerns and tap into what they can offer within their areas of influence.”


oven cleaner

Posted on 15-06-2017 09:18 | By maybelle

I like the idea of oven cleaner by papamoaner, but theres also a very good wasp killer that when sprayed emits a stream to about 4 meters, kills them dead in their tracks...

Give everybody the right to carry a gun.

Posted on 31-05-2017 19:11 | By Incendiary

When I visited the USA it appears a lot of people have guns. If an armed robber held up a store they would get shot by a shop owner or a member of the public. Good idea???

punishment befitting the crime

Posted on 31-05-2017 08:34 | By maybelle

As was mentioned, the justice system seems to be falling short, the punishment meted out is no deterrent. Bring back the stocks! Then anyone wanting to vent can throw a rotten egg and they are named and shamed, for those that inflict harm public stoning would not be good enough...


Posted on 30-05-2017 22:19 | By Papamoaner

But what you have described is the small picture. Make smokes cheap and watch the thieves refocus.They don't care whether it's smokes, booze, diamonds, or cash etc, as long as they can get it. This news article was not about smokes - it was about armed robbery.


Posted on 30-05-2017 10:15 | By namxa

If smokes were cheap, there'd be no point in stealing them. But the do gooder anti smoking campaigners would lose facewe could never have that. It's simple logic.

@Laugeo & Astex

Posted on 30-05-2017 08:59 | By Papamoaner

No, I haven't read any of that data. My assessment was instinctive, and incorrect, sorry. But I stand by my assertion that removing the attraction won't work. Even if we banned dairies, thieves would just focus on another target. The solution is to get rid of criminals, or at least diminish their numbers.We need look no further than Singapore for a system that seems to work.


Posted on 29-05-2017 22:10 | By laugeo

is based on a simple calculation by the criminal, risk vs reward. We have a justice system that is perceived as weak and even if caught, too many do not fear the consequences. Cigarettes certainly do help to tip the balance of reward over risk but I suspect it is the prospect of serving home detention even if caught and convicted that reduces the perception of risk. This is very fixable but there is a lack of appetite to do this in our 'oh so PC society' when it is preferable to question EVERYTHING the Police do in trying to curb criminal behaviour. Just today I see that an article is questioning whether the Police where too rough in their handling of an armed robber? Personally, they can be as rough as they like!


Posted on 29-05-2017 21:53 | By laugeo

Did you not read the recent publication about the government propaganda and outright lies regarding the cost of treating smokers? Substantiated by the very universities that produced the studies - it stated that treatment of ALL smoking related disorders in NZ totalled approximately $350 million a year while current revenue from tobacco taxes raised $1.9 billion a year! They also note this does not include the 'saving' to the government of reduced superannuation costs because smokers fail to live as long as non-smokers. The university is now speaking out at the unjust taxation. Your argument about our cost to you is simply untrue, the fact is that smokers are being used to subsidise you to the tune of over 1.5 billion a year. I don't expect your gratitude though.

@ Papamoaner

Posted on 29-05-2017 19:48 | By astex

"The 2012 Treasury report has admitted that smoking saves the Government money because smokers die earlier and pay more in tobacco tax than their health problems cost". Since then, of course tobacco tax has increased by another 40ish % making the statement above even more significant.

@ Papamoaner

Posted on 29-05-2017 19:01 | By astex

Sorry but for years now the smokers have been more than covering the cost of any treatment by paying huge taxes on the cigarettes. Alcohol costs the taxpayer far more than tobacco in both health and law enforcement.

@Tomahawke Kid

Posted on 29-05-2017 17:20 | By Papamoaner

OK in theory, but what actually happens is that idiots who continue to smoke tobacco end up costing taxpayers zillions because their lungs have turned black on the inside (normally pink), then proceeded to shrivel up, requiring expensive hospitalisation, a stepping stone to death at public cost.Don't try to eliminate crime by removing the bait. That will never work. They will simply move to another bait;.

@ The Tomahawk Kid

Posted on 29-05-2017 16:59 | By astex

Couldn't agree more with what you say. The numbers of smokers has decreased but the number of armed robberies has increased. I know what I would prefer. And we still have the idiots that want tobacco banned altogether. How did that work out with drugs. The gangs will be rubbing their hands together.

Reduce the taxes on cigarettes

Posted on 29-05-2017 12:31 | By The Tomahawk Kid

its pretty damn simple - REDUCE THE TAX ON CIGARETTES - In the Govts efforts to "save the lives of smokers" they are putting the ENTIRE POPULATION at risk.Smokers dont want to rob dairies and gas stations. They want to sit at home with a cup of tea and smoke a cigarette. The Govt, those who vote for them and do-gooder busyboddies who want a say in how others live their lives - are the ones who are the cause of these robberies. Trying to save people from themselves. They value the lives of smokers more than they do non smokers. Dont be mistaken - The govt dont CARE about your health - they care about the COST.

Breakdown of law and order.

Posted on 29-05-2017 11:54 | By jed

This is a serious situation where degenerates and the scum of society have free reign to help themselves to other peoples belonging. Half the issue is that many perps are underage and there is no punishment to fit the crime.

self protection

Posted on 29-05-2017 10:21 | By hapukafin

Allow storekeepers to defend themselves,they no their ability.have direct alarm to police station,allow traps to be installed

oven cleaner

Posted on 29-05-2017 10:00 | By Papamoaner

I read somewhere about a shop owner who sprayed a couple of armed robbers with oven cleaner and they fled the scene rubbing their faces, leaving their guns on the floor.

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