Dairies worried cigarette prices will cause violence

Dairies worried cigarette prices will cause violence

Dairy owners say the Budget has given them more reason to fear being robbed.

They believe the rising price of cigarettes has given thieves more of a reason to steal them. That means some dairies may decide not to sell cigarettes at all.

Every dairy owner Newshub spoke to is terrified rising tobacco prices will make their dairies an even bigger target.

"The crime rate will definitely rise," says dairy owner Rupan Patel.

Mr Patel fought off robbers who went for his cigarette stand last year. He and his wife, Schweta, say the price rise will turn addicts even more desperate.

Steel bars are one increasingly common safety measure, but the Manukau Indian Association, which represents dairy owners in the area, says many are considering no longer selling tobacco.

Mr Patel says he isn't yet prepared to go that far.

"Most of our sales come from cigarettes."

Police admit cigarette cabinets are a high-value target for robbers, and, as well as smoking the proceeds of their crime themselves, they also on-sell them to friends, or even online.

So, as criminals target cigarettes for a growing black market, it could be our dairies taking the hit.