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Dairies get $1.8m security fund

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 1/06/2017

Smaller business and dairy owners are being offered a $1.8 million fund to arm their premises against violent robbery.

Police Minister Paula Bennett announced the fund on Thursday and it was met with "delight" from one retail body.

High-risk premises will be able to apply for up to 50 per cent of the cost of things like panic and high volume interior alarms, DNA spray, fog cannons and time safes for cash and storage of cigarettes, she said.

The cash is in response to an increasing number of violent attacks on dairies - where the rising price of cigarettes is copping the blame.

"We're taking this issue seriously, we want to stop these awful crimes from happening to innocent victims in the first place and make sure these cowards are off the streets," Mrs Bennett said.

The money will come from the Justice Sector Fund - where savings from other parts of the justice sector can be used to fund anti-crime initiatives.

Shop owners will also be given advice about how to alter the layout of their shops to make them safer.

It's expected all of the 500-600 businesses police consider high risk will be eligible for co-funding. Another 3500 businesses will be visited to receive safety advice.

Retail NZ, which says retail crime costs the country $1 billion a year, says it is delighted the government is taking the problem seriously.

"These small stores, which often provide a valuable community service without the cashflow to invest in expensive security systems, have been increasingly targeted by aggressive and sometimes armed criminals seeking to make off with high value goods,'' Retail NZ's Greg Harford said in a statement

"Aggravated robbery is particularly problematic because it puts the health and safety of business owners, employees and customers at risk."

Police have already launched their "There's nothing good about stolen goods" campaign, which targets businesses or individuals receiving stolen property from robberies.

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