Safety is one of the main aspects that anyone would consider before moving to a new country; the other important aspects being good education and employment opportunities. A country that provides you with an opportunity to study well, earn well, and live well would be your first choice if you decide to leave the comforts of your home country.

Although New Zealand is considered as one of the safest countries in the world, small crimes such as burglaries and robberies seem to be rampant and are affecting the communities more than ever. Small retailers and dairy owners—a majority of which are migrants—are the easiest and most common target.

Last week, we reported numerous burglaries and robberies that took place during the Christmas and New Year holiday period. This week, we bring yet another report (see page 3) where the victim was a Kiwi-Indian. The risk of running a small store in New Zealand is increasing with the rising number of crimes reported. This risk further increases when families of dairy owners find themselves in the middle of a robbery.

After last year’s announcement by the then Police and Corrections Minister Judith Collins of burglaries to be considered as a priority crime, the police has noticeably stepped up. During our recent conversation with some of the robbery victims from the community, Indian Weekender found out that the police reached the scene soon after the crime was reported.

However, attacks on dairy owners and small retailers raise concerns about safety among the community. Although the police ensure—in most cases—that the offenders are caught, the concerned authorities need to work at the grassroots level to find the reason behind repeated crimes. Offenders, most of whom are youngsters, are increasingly indulging in such activities, which not only puts the victims’ lives in danger but also their own.

Recently, we came across a video on social media by Opposing Views—a media platform that claims to provide a balanced coverage of news—where they spoke about the connection between the way criminals are treated and the number of repeat crime rates. They compared the US and Norway prison and explained that Norway has a fewer repeat crime rate than the US and this was largely because of the prison conditions. In the video, the Director of Halden Prison in Norway says, “Every inmate is going back to society. Everyone. Do you want people who are angry or do you want people who are rehabilitated?”

While the views mentioned in the video might be debated by some, New Zealand needs to tackle the problem of increasing crime rate to assure New Zealanders that the country they call home is still safe for them.

On a different note, after a few tremorous headwinds caused by demonetisation in India, the storm seems to be calming down and the focus is slowly shifting towards the impending state elections in two major states of India—Uttar Pradesh (UP) and Punjab.

The recent real-life soap and drama between the father-son duo in UP is providing enough meat on the bone for the super-active Indian media, whereas the other father-son duo in Punjab are moving heaven and earth to win the elections on February 4.

But the sad part is that the end of dynasty politics in India, unfortunately, is not in sight. We can only hope that the future brings merit-based politics that works for the development of the country and its people.

But amid all this, India is preparing to celebrate its 68th Republic Day and the country is set to host Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan of UAE as the chief guest this year.