Media Releases

Retail NZ supports effort to combat youth offending

6 March 2024

The outcomes of the new Young Offender Military Academies being initiated by the Government will be watched closely by retailers across Aotearoa New Zealand, Retail NZ says.

“Retail NZ members are facing increasing rates of crime, putting both their employees and the public at risk, as well as threatening the financial sustainability of retail businesses,” Retail NZ Chief Executive Carolyn Young says. 

“Just today, it’s being reported that there have been five petrol stations robbed in the last four days in Auckland. Retail staff should not have to go to work each day wondering if they will be attacked.”

Retail crime is a significant issue in New Zealand, impacting more than 92% of retailers. Retail NZ released a Crime Report in October 2023 that found the cost of retail crime to its members was well over $2.6 billion.

More and more, retailers are dealing with threatening, violent or simply unpleasant customers, who are trying to steal or damage their property, Ms Young says. Organised crime groups stealing to order, drug addicts and youths looking for notoriety on social media are driving the spike in retail crime.

While youth offenders are responsible for only a portion of violent retail crime, it is important to try to deter youth from further offending in future, Ms Young says.

“We are keen to hear more details about the approach that will be taken by the Young Offender Military Academies and the expected outcomes.”

Retail NZ is also calling on the Government to adequately resource Police to deal with retail crime, and to unclog the court system so that offenders are dealt with promptly.

“Ultimately, retail crime results in higher costs and more security barriers for all customers and consumers,” Ms Young says.

For more details or to set up an interview with Retail NZ Chief Executive Carolyn Young, please contact Carolyn on 021 449 452.

For the latest Retail NZ Media Releases click here.

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