Hamilton dairies cage themselves in

A Hamilton dairy owner has gone to extreme lengths to protect his store after a violent armed robbery.

He's installed a cage at the front entrance so he can vet his customers before they enter - and now eight other dairies have done the same.

It's been three weeks since Sandip Patel was brutally attacked with a machete.

At 8:30 in the morning, two masked robbers held up his east Hamilton dairy, smashing him over the head and slashing his hands and forearm.

To protect his staff and himself when he eventually returns to work, Mr Patel has installed a cage around the shop entrance so he can decide who's allowed in and who's not.

It cost him around $3500, but he says it's money well spent.

"It's not a matter of any cost if it helps to save our life."

It's given his daughter Hiral, who lives in Dunedin, some peace of mind.

"I've been telling him to get out of this business ever since all these robberies have started, but that's not something he can do," she says.

"This is really helpful - something that when I go back down to Dunedin, somewhere in my mind I'll be like 'Okay, he's a little safer than he was'."

Mr Patel says the company that makes the cages has been inundated with queries about the security measure. Eight orders have already been placed by other dairies throughout Hamilton.

"It's very sad to see, but there's no other choice," says Sunny Kaushal from the Crime Prevention Group.

"The other choice is if the dairy owners and shop owners pick up the weapons or something to safeguard themselves."

Mr Patel says so far customers have been supportive and understand why he was forced to make the drastic move.