9 Aug 2008

Dairy owners say they may carry arms

8:26 pm on 9 August 2008

There are warnings more dairy owners are preparing to arm themselves.

It follows a police decision not to charge a Christchurch dairy owner who fired an air pistol at robbers.

The owner of the Wainoni Convenience Store says he had no choice but to fire an airgun at two robbers who threatened him and his wife with large knives.

One of the men was hit during the incident.

The police consulted the Crown Solicitors Office and decided the dairy owner would not be prosecuted.

Detective Sergeant Paul Merrett says that should not be seen as a precedent or an indication for any similar situations. He says active resistance from retailers is not encouraged.

However, a spokesperson for the Retail and Mixed Business Association, Naginby Patel, says many dairy owners feel the state cannot look after them and they are increasingly looking to take the law into their own hands.

He says many feel as if they are a low priority.

Mr Patel says dairy owners employ more than 30,000 people in the country; many are self employed and work for $2 an hour.

"They are giving their best service to the community, and yet the country is not realising or respecting it."

Naginby Patel says violence should not be accepted in a civilised society.