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Earlier this year, Michael Hill International decided to permanently close its Takapuna store, which was the most ram-raided in its network. | Source: Retail News Asia
Earlier this year, Michael Hill International decided to permanently close its Takapuna store, which was the most ram-raided in its network. | Source: Retail News Asia

Retail nightmare: New Zealand jewellers under siege

New Zealand jewellery retailers are continuing to grapple with a devastating crime wave.

Since December, New Zealand authorities have pursued 14,215 prosecutions for retail-related crimes, including theft, destruction of property, and employee abuse.

Between December and May, there have also been 388 incidents involving offenders using vehicles to break into stores, otherwise known as a ram raid.

Earlier this year, Michael Hill International decided to permanently close its Takapuna store, which was the most ram-raided in its network.

“Retail crime costs New Zealand retailers $NZ1 billion each year and has a significant personal impact on those working in the industry,” New Zealand Police said in a statement.

“This year has seen a spike in ram raid style burglaries, as we tend to see at times with other crime types. This has affected small local retailers and larger chains.

"Retail crime costs New Zealand retailers $NZ1 billion each year and has a significant personal impact on those working in the industry."
New Zealand Police

Police have also been actively working alongside retailers and retail communities to give them prevention advice and support.”

Authorities have also identified social media as an increasing concern in the fight against retail crime. Many criminals targeting retail stores film themselves breaking the law and then post the videos online, hoping to gain notoriety.

Retail NZ CEO Carolyn Young said many factors contribute to New Zealand’s retail crime wave.

“Issues range from businesses being targeted with ram raids, organised crime - linked to gangs and stealing to order - youth issues are driven by social media and wanting to gain notoriety on TikTok, and gang initiations,” she told Ragtrader.

“We have even seen a video of a customer setting a fire in a store to create a distraction so they could steal a trolley of goods.

“You can imagine the impact on the store: the fire alarm was set off, sprinklers were triggered – causing significant damage, the Fire Service was called to put out the fire, and staff are unsettled as their workplace was targeted and they do not feel safe.”

Retail NZ recently completed an in-depth survey with retailers on crime and its impact, with the results expected to be published in late September.

Earlier this year, Police Minister Ginny Andersen confirmed a further $NZ9 million to top up the retail crime prevention fund, bringing the total to $NZ15 million.

The program supports retailers with installing fog cannons, security sirens, alarms, CCTV systems, bollards or similar security measures, roller doors, and other criminal deterrents.

More reading
NSW Government tackles crime against retail employees
NZ Government extends support to retailers dealing with theft and damage
Retailers demand more protection, New Zealand sales struggling
Flooding wreaks havoc on New Zealand’s retailers
New Zealand jewellers devastated by crime wave

 











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