In the thread "Catching thieves – 'bait packages'" seemed to have generated a lot of talk around dairies.
I've truncated comments to keep this summary readable.
Rikkitic: "I also get angry when I see hard-working dairy owners being repeatedly robbed by low-lifes and they can't seem to do anything to protect themselves. But I still don't believe that giving them guns is an answer. The USA example should be enough to convince anyone. We need more and better police, but people also have to be willing to pay for that."
danielparker: "... It makes me so angry when Dairies and Service Stations are being robbed, usually for stupid Cigarettes (not a smoker), and a little cash (not worth the risk, really)... I would like to see the robbers heads explode. Shotguns should do it. If you are going to bash someone for cigarettes, then prepare for some high speed lead poisoning."
Journeyman: "I'd be perfectly okay with dairy owners being allowed to keep a loaded shotgun under counter with legal authorisation to blow away anyone who tries to rob them."
JimmyH: "...there's the risk of accidents (dairy owners small child come across gun and pulls trigger). Secondly, if criminals know that dairy owners have loaded weapons then they are far more likely to become more violent, and attack the dairy owner without warning rather than just menacing them, as that reduces the risk that they will get shot. I'm not convinced that you would be making the country a safer place, particularly for the dairy owners themselves."
networkn: "Nothing stops a dairy owner having another non gun type weapon (baseball bat or crowbar), how many times do you hear of dairy owners seriously assaulting anyone?"
gzt: "100 packets of cigarettes have a retail value around $NZ2500 and are easily carried and distributed. For tobacco motivated robberies less stock on hand and daily or twice daily deliveries may be a better fix. The ordering system required would have to be very responsive."
Dratsab: "I don't think they should have any sort of weapon unless they're fully prepared to use it and face the possibility of being prosecuted themselves. People such as dairy owners arming themselves will/can only lead to an escalation in the weaponry robbers take with them. Then there's also the consideration of dairy owners (and/or their family members) being disarmed and killed with their own weapons ... Minimum sentencing guidelines would be a great start. The maximum penalty for burglary is 10 years (Crimes Act 1961, s231). Imposed sentences are nowhere near this long. The system here is extremely soft."
JimmyH: " I think the surge in tobacco-related burglaries was an inevitable consequence of jacking up the tax so high. Addicted people will do a lot to maintain their habit, and cigarettes are now a valuable, and portable, item. It's not surprising that people are going to great lengths to steal them - a couple of hundred packs will probably net thieves more than a bank robbery now, and dairys don't have anything like the security that banks do.
I don't think there is a simple solution, and (hyperbole aside) I certainly don't think that arming dairy owners and giving the,m carte blanche to kill should be part of any solution.
I think a multi-pronged solution is needed, which could include:
•better security in shops, including HD security camera and publishing pictures in newspapers (even when the offenders are young)
•more law enforcement targeted at burglaries, especially aggravated burglaries, found by diverting resources away from pursuing essentially victimless crimes (like cannabis and minor speeding infringements)
•possibly some stings - tracking devices placed in dummy cigarette packets in frequently burgled shops etc
•tougher sentencing, including minimum sentences for burglary and aggravated burglary, and not letting youths off with a wet bus ticket slapping
•and (contraversially) cutting tobacco taxes - prices are well past the point where most people who will quit because of price have already done so, and jacking them up higher is principally squeezing families of limited means (ie the children miss out where the parents keep smoking) and stoking crime."
MikeAqua: " I don't agree with robberies and I feel sorry for the victims. But ... there is no compulsion to sell tobacco products.
It's now abundantly clear that serious security measures should be installed if you sell tobacco products in a small business staffed by one or two people.
In many countries the staff, along with all the high value merchandise and cash would be in a cashiers cage and there would be a time-lock safe for the cash. Any door into an adjoining residence should be secure and kept locked.
Go to to BP or Z after about 9:30pm - the shop door is locked and all business is done via a cashiers window. PITA and no doubts costs those businesses revenue, but it's safe.
I think line of sight into dairies needs to be addressed as well. You could easily walk past a dairy being robbed and not see what was happening. Many have their windows painted over to the extent that no-one can see in, and or a layout with the cashier's position obscured from passers-by with shelving.
All the above mentioned security measures are expensive of course, but maybe that's just the cost of selling tobacco in that particular business model."