The ratbags know that Police are stretched, they also know that dud and criminal friendly judges will apply just a light hand of justice.
Northland police are defending their handling of a youth crime spree in Kaikohe at the weekend.
Officers have made one arrest, after a gang of youngsters raided a liquor store on Friday night and a larger mob attacked the doors of the town’s Mobil service station.
Residents said today that youth crime, including car theft and burglary, was out of control in mid-Northland and had been for some time.
Kaikohe Community Patrol coordinator Tony Taylor said people were frustrated, but felt powerless to act.
“There’s nothing we can do about it,” he said.
Ahh, but there is…
“You can say, ‘Hey, this is not good enough,’ and they tell you to get stuffed. Six months ago we said we need more cops up here. We’ve had a couple of new ones come in but nothing’s happening. What do we do with these youths? Who can help them? Parents can’t. Police can’t.”
Police in the north were too stretched to cope, Mr Taylor said.
Kaikohe Shed liquor store employee Dipak Singh said it took just 16 seconds on Friday evening for a pack of young thieves in hoodies to burst into the shop and snatch boxes of Heineken from his display.
“This is the second time in three months,” he said. “It’s frightening.”
Mr Singh said sales were down because thieves were also intimidating his customers.
“They stop our customers outside and ask them for the beer they bought from the shop, and try to steal it.”
On Friday night, the youths got away with four boxes of beer which they carried off to an adult party, and later that night a mob of about 20 did their best to smash their way into the Ngāpuhi-owned Mobil service station.
Manager Paul Knight said it was the fifth time the service station had been hit in 18 months, and the third time the would-be burglars had failed to gain entry.
This time the glass security doors held and Mr Knight estimates the boys did less than $1000 worth of damage.
Inspector Al Symonds said there were 11 officers working across the mid-north on Friday night.
Police were expecting St Patrick’s Day havoc in the busy bars of Paihia and Kerikeri, rather than in Kaikohe, so that was where they had put their resources, he said.
“Obviously we didn’t expect what was happening in Kaikohe,” he said.
“But to put it in context, at the Mobil event, we had an officer there within three minutes of the call and we have apprehended one. And it’s a small town and we are confident we will find most if not all of them.”
Kaikohe businessman Steve Sangster said that was the problem in a nutshell, with police reacting to crime instead of preventing it.
The solution to this problem is very cheap and very effective. Just issue a shotgun to every store owner and pass a Castle Doctrine law.
If the Police can’t or won’t Police then it is fast getting to the situation where people will need to do it for themselves.
For too long we have had a contract with the government, that we won’t be armed in general, and they will protect us. Well, that contract has expired.
Waiting five minutes for Police in a big city is bad enough, for rural communities waiting even 15 minutes may literally mean someone dies.
We need politicians who will once again allow citizens to protect themselves.