Dairies, petrol stations and liquor stores were robbed hundreds of times last year – will 2018 be any better?

Shop workers spent 2017 living in fear as the number of aggravated robberies around the country increased.

There were 2316 recorded robberies across the entire country from January to October in 2017.

Of those there were 1047 victims of robberies in the retail NEC, service station and chemist/pharmacy sector between January and October 2017.

This includes victims of robberies at dairies, liquor stores and petrol stations.

This is an increase on the 916 victims of robberies for the same months in 2016.

"They are very hard working people, they work 14 to 16 hours a day, and still they are living in fear. So, this is not the society that we are proud of in New Zealand," Crime Prevention Group President Sunny Kaushal told 1 NEWS.

"Every day, every dairy owner is living in fear."

"They do not know what is going to come in the day for them. Wherever this has happened these are young families, small families and the trauma they are facing after the robberies is huge."

Auckland dairy owner severely injured in armed robbery

In March this year, one Auckland dairy owner suffered severe injuries to his right arm, when seven people entered his Mt Roskill store armed with a baseball bat and crowbar.

His arm remains paralysed and he was not able to return to work, and faced bankruptcy.

"My pain is too much; I can't sleep through the night," he told TVNZ1's Seven Sharp earlier this year.

"My future is zero… To be honest, they should have killed me on that day."

Mr Kaushal says shop workers should have the right to self-defence.

"Many of the dairy owners are trying to do things on their own. Even in South Auckland, many of them have installed the metal bars, a jail-like structure," he says.

"The pepper sprays are not allowed, rocks are not allowed, so that is a big problem. When they try to protect themselves, they get charged. If they do not protect themselves offenders stab them."

In October 2017, police rolled out a new crime prevention tool as part of $1.8 million in funding to prevent aggravated robberies.

Fifty-four stores are expected to have the DNA spray installed by the end of 2017.

'The focus needs to be towards the offenders. How do we stop them?'

Mr Kaushal says it works to an extent, but it is not the answer.

"The focus needs to be towards the offenders. How do we stop them? How do they get that fear of the law."

"Criminals should know they will get caught and they will be held accountable."

Politicians had their own thoughts on the issue this year.

National Party leader Bill English assured the public he was listening, promising millions of dollars and hundreds more police.

Whereas – then Associate Health Minister Nicky Wagner suggested dairies should stop selling cigarettes.

But NZ First leader and Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters disagreed, vowing tougher action.

"Should women stop going out jogging if they feel threatened by rapists? Should banks stop dispensing money if they feel threatened by robbers?"

Where to now?

In recent weeks the new coalition Government met with the Crime Prevention Group who presented a memorandum.

Mr Kaushal said the meeting went well and their eight point agenda was well received by MPs.

Ministers assured members of the Crime Prevention Group they will take action, first by committing 1,800 Police officers.

As the new year rolls around the new Government commits to increasing police numbers in an effort to combat aggravated robberies. But will it be enough? Source: 1 NEWS

The Hastings' Four Square that sold four winning first division Lotto tickets

Hastings was the lucky home to four winning first division Lotto tickets last night.

Flaxmere's Scott Drive Four Square was the winning shop and TVNZ1's Seven Sharp meet with the owner.

"We have five first division winners in Flaxmere, and we have got four of them," owner Becky Gee said.

"Usually one shop gets one but one shop got four, unbelievable."

Last night there were 40 first division winners, who each get $25,000.

Ms Gee says she doesn’t know who the winners were yet, but says hopefully she’ll find out soon.

"Hopefully it’ll go to people who need it, to pay a lot of bills."

Lotto confirmed that one person purchased four of the winning tickets, which means they take home $100,000.

It turns out Scott Drive Four Square is where to buy a winning ticket. Source: Seven Sharp


Watch: Three re-entry options for Pike River Mine explained in 3D graphic

Mining experts are gathered in Greymouth to look at the risks involved in the three re-entry options for the Pike River Mine, and 1 NEWS has explained the options using a 3D graphic.

The bodies of 29 men remain in the West Coast mine following an explosion on November 19  2010. Re-entry would allow experts to search for the bodies and gather evidence about the disaster.

The graphic shows the lie of the land above the mine and two distinct areas of the mine underground.

The mine drift, or access tunnel, starts from the entrance to the mine and runs 2.29 kilometres to what's known as the workings.

The workings are where the coal was being extracted and were the last locations of the 29 miners. The workings area contains a network of more than four kilometres of tunnels.

The first re-entry option is going in through the current entrance as it is now, with no secondary exit.

The second is the same but with a large bore hole made to provide a means of escape.

The other option is to create a new two-metre by two-metre tunnel about 200 metres long from up on a hill, to connect with another area for ventilation and a second exit.

Safety is the biggest priority and the findings will be reviewed over the next month.

After an explosion at the West Coast mine on 19 November 2010, the bodies of 29 men remain in the mine. Source: 1 NEWS


Taranaki man denies killing Waitara teenager in crash

A Taranaki man charged with dangerous driving causing death following an accident that killed a Waitara teenager last month has denied the offence.

The 37-year-old appeared in the New Plymouth District Court today where he also pleaded not guilty to charges of possession of cannabis, possession of utensils to consume methamphetamine, speeding and refusing to give a blood sample.

On 28 August, Olivia Renee Keightley-Trigg, 18, died after the man allegedly crashed into her on State Highway 3 between New Plymouth and Waitara.

The court heard that at about 6am the defendant was travelling towards New Plymouth when he crossed double yellow lines while overtaking another vehicle and drove into the path of Ms Keightley-Trigg.

Keightley-Trigg is one of 12 people to have been killed on the stretch of SH3 in the last 10 years.

The defendant was granted interim name suppression until 26 September, pending an appeal being filed over its potential lifting.

Defence counsel Paul Keegan argued that publication of the defendant's name could prejudice his right to a fair trial.

But Crown prosecutor Detective Sergeant Dave MacKenzie disagreed, telling the court that the defendant's right to a fair trial could be protected via other means.

Judge Garry Barkle said he was inclined to lift the name suppression in the interests of open justice but noted Mr Keegan had signalled his intention to appeal any such decision.

Judge Barkle therefore extended interim name suppression until 4pm on 26 September, pending an appeal.

The defendant, who has elected trial by jury, was remanded in custody to reappear on 22 November for a case review.


Olivia Renee Keightley-Trigg.
Olivia Renee Keightley-Trigg. Source: NZ Police

Christchurch Hospital sees seven people suffering severe affects of synthetic cannabis in 24 hours

Seven people have been treated in the last 24 hours at Christchurch Hospital's Emergency Department who're thought be be severely affected by synthetic cannabis.

In a statement the hospital says the emergency department has seen a number of people suffering from "probable severe synthetic cannabis toxicity, with seven people treated in the past 24 hours and three needing admission to the Intensive Care Unit".

Paul Gee, Emergency Medicine Specialist, Canterbury DHB says there has been a noticeable increase in patient attendances at the Emergency Department for side effects of synthetic cannabis use. 

He says some have minor adverse effects but others are more serious. Last month a man suffered a cardiac arrest after using synthetic cannabis but was successfully resuscitated.

Toxicology analysis has identified the substance taken by the patients as either AMB-FUBINACA or AB-FUBINACA.

AMB-FUBINACA has been linked to numerous deaths in the North Island during the past year.

"There are dangerous synthetic drugs available and taking them could seriously harm or kill you," Dr Gee said.

Drug and addiction help can be accessed at Tuhauora, Christchurch’s Central Coordination Service chchaod@odysseychch.org.nz or call the Alcohol and Drug Helpline 0800 787 797.

They're calling for the drug to be classified as Class A – the most harmful and dangerous.
Source: 1 NEWS