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Criminals Could Benefit From Health Ministry Vape Database

Dairy owners are writing to the Health Minister and Health Director-General over concerns a public database of general vape retailers will provide criminals a free database of where to rob, burgle, steal and worse.

“Youth vaping is being fed by crime because thousands of retail offenders are never caught,” says Sunny Kaushal, Chair of the Dairy and Business Owner’s Group Inc.

"The very last thing we want is to tell them and older criminals, who exactly is selling mint, menthol, and tobacco flavoured vapes and smokeless tobacco, let alone herbal cigarettes and especially, cigarettes.

“Yet the Ministry of Health says this could be on the cards. Does no one at the Ministry watch, listen or read the news about crime? Especially that done by school-aged thugs?

“2022 was a record-breaking year for retail crime but only 9% of all offences resulted in arrest. Of this paltry 9%, almost one in five (19.4%) involved those aged under 17, pointing to a very big problem.

“While 2023 looks even worse, 2022 tells us over 72,000 adult offences resulted in no arrest, but so could have 17,000 offences involving those under 17. And people wonder how young people get vapes!

“Another concern is that this need to “notify” was dropped on us on 21 September with zero publicity but with a deadline of tonight (1 October).

“Aside from being just 7-business days, it takes the Ministry up to 10 business days to “process” each notification. Hard as we’ve looked, we cannot find any reference to 1 October in the Act or the Regulations.

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“We’re not against letting officials know, just not the $80 (plus GST) annual fee to tell those robbing, stealing and assaulting us,” Mr Kaushal said.

For More Information: Sunny Kaushal (021 262 9595)

Police OIA (IR-01-23-19683) on retail crimes confirmed:

In 2022, there were 99,045 Crimes Act offences involving retail. This was up 30,130 on 2021 while 2023 (to May) recorded 44,624 offences.

Of the 99,045 Crimes Act offences only 6,404 (6.5%) resulted in Court while 2,099 (23.9%) received “non-court action” or a warning.

Of the 8,765 who were caught, 1,708 (19.4%) were aged under 17. This included 12 aged under 10 where there is no criminal responsibility.

This OIA also breaks down retail crime by Police District as well.

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