"New Police Minister Stuart Nash needs to realise that taking a ‘victim-centric’ approach to crime doesn’t mean victim-blaming,” says ACT’s Police spokesperson Chris Baillie.

“Nash’s disgraceful comments yesterday essentially blamed ram raids and robberies on the dairy owners who carry a legal product.

“The law is there to protect people so they can do business. Stuart Nash’s approach appears to be about stopping them from doing business because the Government can’t stop crime.

“Banning cigarettes is essentially victim-blaming dairy owners, alleging it’s their fault for being ram-raided because they decided to sell cigarettes.

“He’s also proposing licensed firearms owners pay for police callouts to their properties. As if by merely owning a licensed firearm you’re asking to be burgled.

“What’s next? Will he ban wedding rings because Michael Hill Jewellers keep getting robbed?

“Retailers have suffered immensely from Labour’s soft on crime approach. The Government’s retail crime fund has been disastrous, with glacial rollout times and unclear criteria. They’ve now resorted to victim-blaming instead.

“Dairy owners should be free to engage in commerce and do what’s best for their business. It’s the Police’s job to keep them safe so they can do this. Licensed firearms owners should be encouraged to report stolen firearms and have the same rights as any other victim, not charged a fee.

“We have called on the Government to get tough, and smart on the epidemic of retail crime that followed the epidemic of COVID-19. We have proposed idea after idea to try and get on top of the ram raids and the robberies, but the Government has barely listened, if at all.

“The Government needs to show a clear pathway of consequences for young offenders, from instant practical penalties as proposed by ACT, to ankle bracelets for offenders, to secure facilities to keep offenders in if they do not comply with earlier sanctions. It then needs to get them back to school or employment.

“It’s time the Police Minister started going after the actual criminals.”

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