Fewer than half of ram-raiders identified by police - report

1News can reveal police have only identified offenders in 118 of the 283 ram-raid incidents committed in the year ending November 2021 - around 42%.

That's the finding of high-level analysis undertaken by police into the growing ram-raid issue, which was published within the organisation in late January this year, and released to 1News under the Official Information Act.

Furthermore, police only took enforcement action in 102 incidents, or in around 37% of cases.

Counties Manukau District Commander Superintendent Jill Rogers says that's a consequence of how young the majority of offenders are.

"Some of the traditional methods we'd be able to rely on from an investigative purpose, we don't necessarily have."

She also points to factors such as stolen vehicles, no prior records for young assailants, and CCTV coverage as barriers to enforcement.

"Sometimes these are difficult offences to link together. It is about building a jigsaw."

Sunny Kaushal, who chairs the Dairy and Business Owner's Group, says it doesn't send a good message that more than half of assailants are getting away with ram-raids.

"It tells me there is a failure of police's action or system somewhere."

The report also found, within that period, 38 repeat offenders were responsible for a quarter of ram-raids.

While it's long been known many children are participating in these raids, this report states 76% of raids, are carried out by children who are high-school age or younger.

The report also disputes notions of wider gang involvement in ram-raids.

"The Gang Intelligence Centre and District Intelligence does not hold any information to confirm media reporting that suggested ram-raids are being used as part of the gang prospecting process."

In fact, only seven of the offenders identified by police were confirmed as patched gang members, with a further eight having gang associations; altogether making up around 9% of identified offenders.

Dairy owner Dave Kumer says the end of Auckland's lockdowns were only the start of his ram-raid worries.

"We had to put all roller doors, fog cannon, all the cameras upgraded and it cost about like 20 grand."

It's a problem that carries a very dear cost for dairy owners and retailers battered by cars and crime, who are asking for solutions.

"We have a crime emergency in New Zealand," says Sunny.

"It's right here, right now. So we need to have a discussion on this crime emergency, a nationwide discussion, because this 'softly, softly' approach on crime is letting us down."

In May, the Government said it was putting $6m aside for helping small businesses impacted by ram-raids, which will include solutions such as installing bollards or other protection structures.


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