Auckland business owner closing jewellery store after being ram-raided twice in two months

An Auckland business owner is closing the store she's run for nearly 20 years after being ram-raided twice in two months.

Bharti Patel owns and operates Jewellers on Queen in Onehunga. Patel told Newshub on Monday she's being forced into early retirement because she no longer feels safe running her business.

Patel said the first time her store was burgled, the thieves smashed through the glass doors but were stopped by the metal safety roller. Patel went through all the trouble and cost of fixing it just for the same thing to happen again the next month. Each time the thieves were stopped by the metal roller causing huge amounts of damage but not managing to steal anything.

She said after she was hit by thieves the second time she decided it's just not worth it.

"I run this business on my own and I just feel lately that it's too much trouble. They come and smash everything and I just don't feel safe anymore."

Patel said the offenders aren't facing proper consequences because they are often young children.

"I don't want to even know if police catch someone because they are all young people… And if they even catch somebody they are not going to do anything anyway," she said.

"If the kids are doing these crimes they should pay for it. So yeah, it's very frustrating."

She said it's disappointing to be forced to close her business because she feels unsafe.

"All this frustration everybody else is feeling it too. As a lady, I ran this business for years and was doing really well on my own and suddenly stuff happens and I don't feel safe anymore."

The store is holding a clearance sale before closing by mid-July.

It comes as business owners across the city are struggling with a spate of ram-raids in the past few months.

And Patel isn't alone. Earlier in the month, Dairy and Business Association chair Sunny Kaushal told AM's Ryan Bridge business owners are frightened and angry.

"There is a lot of anger and frustrations among these businesses and communities now…It's very serious."

Kaushal said several dairies are also employing their own security guards but it's just adding costs to businesses that are already struggling to stay afloat.

"It's very hard to run a business in New Zealand at the moment because the state is failing to provide them security and safety.

"I can tell you 30 percent of the business owners who call me are asking how to get a gun licence. It's become that serious because if the police and authorities are not able to save them they have to save themselves."

He called on Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to address the problem by declaring a "crime emergency".

"A sense of lawlessness is now gripping all of New Zealand and the 'soft on crime' approach is not working. We are calling the Prime Minister to declare a crime emergency in New Zealand, it is that serious."

National has repeatedly blamed the spike on crime on the Government being too soft on crime. But it's a claim Ardern has hit back at.

"Let's just look at the bare facts. None of the penalties, none of the consequences for these crimes have changed. So this idea that somehow there is this weakening is just wrong," Ardern told AM last month.

"In fact, what you've got to consider is that what we are doing differently is not just dealing with the consequences, if you offend in this country you must be held to account. "

In the latest Budget, the Government announced a $600 million package aimed at addressing crime. The package will see an increase in police numbers, nearly $100m to tackle gang violence and extend the successful rehabilitation programmes to break the cycle of offending and entering a life of crime.

Police have been contacted for comment.