Prime Minister Chris Hipkins pushes back on claim fog cannons make offenders more violent

A ram raid victim says fog cannons are making offenders more violent, but Prime Minister Chris Hipkins disagrees and says they make a "significant difference". 

On Monday the Government announced an additional $11 million for its fog cannon subsidy fund following high uptake by small businesses.

But ram raid victim Ash Parmar told AM the Government is "wasting more of taxpayers' money".

"If 500 fog cannons that were installed in 2019, paid by the taxpayer, didn't stop the crime and we've had [an] intense rise in crime since 2019, what are these new 500 fog cannons [going] to do?"

Parmer says he doesn't understand why the Government is committing more money to fog cannons and would rather see a crackdown on the "real issue".

"It's the repeat offending by both youth offenders and over-18 offenders."

Parmer told AM co-host Ryan Bridge when shop workers are rampaged by offenders, sometimes they don't have the time or the courage to push the button to trigger the fog cannon.

"The fog cannons don't just trigger when you see four guys with balaclavas coming into the shop."

Parmer believes fog cannons are making offenders more violent, and he says frontline police share the same view.

"Frontline police, they will tell you the same thing, they are coming in at a rapid rate and want to take the retailer out because they know they will trigger the fog cannon, which is going to limit their time in the store and potentially decrease the loot."

AM played Prime Minister Hipkins Parmer’s comments, and Bridge asked if he had shop owners tell him the same thing. He said he had not. 

Prime Minister Hipkins said he's been told by other victims of crime that fog cannons can make a "significant difference." He said frontline police and police, who undertake the retail crime assessments, have told him the same. 

"In fact, we've seen video footage of situations where they've made a significant difference. I'm not going to claim for one moment that fog cannons are the ultimate solution to the level of retail crime that we're seeing at the moment," he said.

"We've got to make sure fewer people are going into retail outlets and committing crime." 

But he doubled down adding; "A fog cannon can make a store owner much safer".

"It can give them the ability to retreat safely and actually the evidence shows that businesses that have had a fog cannon installed are less likely to be repeat victims than businesses that haven't."

Watch the full interviews above.