13 Mar 2017

Christchurch store robbed eight times in just seven months

From Checkpoint, 5:43 pm on 13 March 2017

A Christchurch dairy owner says he has spent about $26,000 trying to make his shop more secure following a spate of robberies.

The Woolston dairy has been targeted eight times in just seven months.

The store is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and was most recently robbed last Wednesday.

Police and WorkSafe have been looking at whether more can be done to make the store safer for staff.

Store owner David Lee said he was doing everything he could to stop the place from being a target.

"We've spent about $26,000 on putting in a safe room, a cigarette dispensing machine, upgrading the security cameras and seeing what else we can do, so... I think whatever we are going to do the [robbers] are just going to find a different way, if they want to come in."

Acting Inspector Paul Reeves said police had made some safety recommendations to Mr Lee.

"So making it open so people can see in and store owners and workers can see out, that's one [recommendation], also putting in extra security cameras is a good preventative measure."

He could not repeat all of the advice they had given Mr Lee, as that could make the job for people targeting the store easier, he said.

It did not appear that a particular group was targeting the dairy, Mr Reeves said.

Investigations were ongoing, but a number of people were facing charges over the robberies.

"There is a number of different individuals who have been apprehended for these robberies, so it looks like it is not the same group," he said.

The dairy should not have to reduce its opening hours for staff to feel safe, Mr Reeves said.

A WorkSafe spokesperson said police had contacted the agency.

"We are in the process of organising a proactive assessment at the site," the spokesperson said.

"The findings of that assessment will determine WorkSafe's further discussions and actions with the duty holder. Therefore, it would be premature for us to comment further."