Lately, there has been a surge in the number of retail crime incidences all over New Zealand, thus bringing the attention back on law and order and the fast-dwindling sense of security being experienced by those working in dairy and liquor stores.

For a quite long time, the government has remained focussed, to a level of being almost obsessed, in managing a roaring global Covid-19 pandemic.

Indeed, saving valuable lives, particularly those of the most vulnerable and immunocompromised members of our whanau, had been the most cherished goal of the government and unapologetically shared by one and all in the community.

And that explains little expectations and hence little probing of the government for almost last two years of Covid-pandemic from the public, including ethnic minority migrant communities as the only parameter that judged the government’s efficacy was - managing the spread of Covid-virus in the community.

It seems now with a rampant Omicron wave in the community, and the increasing level of audacity displayed by young offenders in recent months who have lost any sense of accountability whatsoever, as evident in the repeated strikes on same shops on the same nights, are leaving frustrated small business operators with little options other than to make a howl of help and support.

In the last week, the Indian Weekender had been inundated with requests from dairy store operators in Central and West Auckland suburbs, Northland (Oponini) and Hamilton in Waikato with information of repeated burglaries and ram-raids on multiple numbers of times in the same week.

While not every dairy store owner is willing to come out in front of the camera and share their plight, those who are vocal in voicing their sense of fear and desperation from the notable spurt in retail crime with the media are trying to make a case for other fellow victim retail business operators.

There is a palpable sense of frustration towards the police follow-up action that ensues any reporting of retail crime incident as it is least reassuring, without inculcating any sense of confidence that such incidents are more an aberration and not the norm.

From what the Indian Weekender is hearing on the ground, the sense that grips the retail operators immediately after any such burglary is how long it will take for the offenders to strike again.

It is high time that the police and the government shed their usual casual approach on this important issue and put more resources on the grounds accompanied with some minimal punitive actions available to them to deter those so-called young adults who are indulging in such repeated crimes with impunity.