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Questions in wake of Henderson killing


MP for Te Atatu

Questions in wake of Henderson killing

Te Atatu Labour MP Phil Twyford says yesterday’s killing of dairy owner Arun Kumar raises questions about whether the community has been let down by the authorities.

“The family of Arun Kumar are grieving, and the community is in shock.

“What kind of country have we become when a dairy owner is killed in his shop at 7 o’clock in the morning allegedly by a child with a knife?

“The young accused were well known to local shopkeepers in a retail centre where begging, intimidation and anti-social behaviour have unfortunately been all too common.

“The community is asking why there has not been a more visible police presence, with regular foot patrols to discourage law-breaking. There is a community constable delegated to cover Henderson but the officer is based in Massey. We’d like to see a community constable based in the town centre, with a shop front on the main street.

“Auckland Council has passed a bylaw to deal with begging and intimidation on the street but compliance is under-staffed. I am calling on Auckland Council to look at putting more resources and staff into compliance so in communities like Henderson this bylaw has teeth.

“I would also like to see Auckland Council invest in the town centre to attract more people, making it vibrant and safer.

“There are hard issues we have to face as a country about how kids can be so badly parented, and so badly off the rails, that they can cause this much grief for others at such an early age.

“We must also ask whether or not we are investing enough in protecting our citizens from risks like this.

“As local MP I will play my part in working with the Council, the Local Board, local retailers, Police, and the community to find enduring solutions.

“The good law-abiding hard-working people of Henderson deserve better support from the authorities in turning this situation around.”

Phil Twyford said he had paid respects to the bereaved family today, and has been meeting with local retailers in Henderson. Labour leader David Cunliffe will be visiting the Kumar family this evening.

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