“Today marks a month since Police Minister Chris Hipkins said of his ram raid fund "I expect the programme to ramp up over the next month”, but not a single cent has been paid out since,” says ACT Leader and Epsom MP David Seymour.

“Hipkins made the comment when he was forced to defend the fund’s lack of delivery a month ago. Since then, another month of doing nothing.

“The fund’s not driven by the community, but by the bureaucracy. You can’t apply for funds, even if you have a vulnerable business. Police decide which businesses are eligible and it seems that part of the criteria is that you have already been ramraided. So, to be eligible for protection from ramraids, you first have to be ramraided.

“While ram raids continue to occur steadily, the fund has failed to make a difference and business owners remain vulnerable to the threat of crime.

“Last month ACT discovered that on average more businesses were being ram raided each night than those who have been helped by the fund announced by Labour in May, only five.

“ACT has suggested harsher consequences for those caught ram raiding, giving courts the ability to dish out ankle bracelets to offenders.

“Ram raids are being carried out by the same, hardened group of young people who face no consequences. They’re too young for prison, they’re known to escape from youth justice facilities, or are sent home to their families where they have a lack of guidance and discipline.

“As a local MP I am spending more and more time visiting business owners who have been devastated by these attacks. We can’t leave them sitting and waiting in fear that they might be next.”

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David Seymour