You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Tobacco robbery stats needed: Seymour

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 6/03/2017

Police say the sale of stolen tobacco is a serious issue in the community, but no data is kept on how many robberies are committed to steal cigarettes.

That's something Act leader David Seymour wants to see changed.

On Sunday a Christchurch dairy was allegedly robbed for the seventh time in six months by thieves wanting cigarettes.

Mr Seymour says taxing tobacco has made dairies and service stations a target for theft without significantly reducing smoking rates.

"It's only a matter of time before someone is seriously hurt, or worse," Mr Seymour said.

He requested tobacco-related burglary figures from police in response to the burglary, but those figures aren't recorded.

"It is extraordinary that police are not recording whether tobacco was a factor in a robbery," he said.

"Police keep a wide range of statistics for different crimes, but this one is particularly important because government policy contributes to it."

Police last year said the sale of stolen tobacco was a serious issue in the communities and a spate of robberies in the Christchurch area had led to dairy owners considering pulling cigarettes from their shelves.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon