Dairy, small business owners unite for second protest

Dairy and business owners took to the streets of Auckland, Hamilton and Christchurch on Sunday.

Dairy and business owners took to the streets of Auckland, Hamilton and Christchurch today in what they've described as a march of solidarity for victims of crime.


It comes a fortnight after Sandringham dairy worker Janak Patel was killed on November 23 in an armed robbery. His death sparking a nationwide outcry from workers who feel his death is part of a growing wave of violent crime.

In Auckland almost 200 made their way from Britomart down Queen Street, blocking lanes of traffic, before arriving some 30 minutes later at Aotea Square, chanting "we want justice...more power to police" and "change the law".

Those who gathered at today's protests expressed their frustration at what they felt was a lack of action to combat crime, and that the current penalties weren't strong enough to deter offenders.

It's left many feeling fearful about what may happen next.

Protesters in Auckland.

One of the Auckland protestors Hetal Parikh owns a dairy in Mt Roskill that has been robbed twice recently, putting her on edge.

"It's really scary, it's a trauma for my family," she says. "it's a horrible experience, not for me, for my family, for my kids.

"There is always a fear when I open my shop, that anytime anyone will come with anything, and I don't know what will happen."

Binal Patel was at the protest with her parents, who are dairy owners in the Auckland suburb of Mt Wellington.

"I do worry for them, that there is a lot of crime, they've been victims of crime," she says. "Also just society as a whole I feel we should be doing better for our children. Children shouldn't feel they need to steal and rob and do all of that."

Earlier this week dairies around the country also shut their doors in protest of the fatal stabbing of 34-year-old Patel. That same day the Government announced new measures in its effort to combat retail crime - including a subsidy for fog cannons that all small shops and dairies could apply for.

In September it also announced more funding for those agencies working with at risk youth, to try and ensure they remained in school, or in job training.

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