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Fuel Stations Heading For USA-style Crime Hell - MTA

 

In the wake of another frightening attack on an Auckland service station at the weekend, the Motor Trade Association (MTA) says the Government must back up its tough talk with action.

Shocking CCTV footage of the incident shows nine offenders, some armed with hammers, attacking the Western Springs service station on Sunday morning, leaving a staff member badly shaken.

The station is owned by an MTA member, and the robbery is the eighth on one of his stations since January.

MTA Chief Executive Lee Marshall says the risk of an attack is an every day reality for many fuel stations.

“We're relieved that no one was hurt in this terrifying incident. Sadly, this sort of robbery is too common an occurrence on fuel station owners. At this rate, we’re headed for the kind of hell you see in Florida where gas station operators need to hide behind inch-thick steel bars for protection. We seriously need to ask ourselves if that’s a future we want.

“Most local gas stations are small, locally owned and operated franchises, and the pain of repeated robberies takes a toll not only on the business financially, but also on the physical and mental health of workers.

“The Government has talked tough on tackling crime, but we now need some action, and there are some small practical steps that can be quickly enacted.”

One step the Government could take is to allow capital expenditure for crime protective or preventative measures to be 100% tax deductible in the year in which the cost is incurred. This was included in MTA’s call to Government, Driving New Zealand Forward.

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“The previous Government picked up our call to include small service stations in the fog cannon subsidy,” Mr Marshall says.

“They didn’t consider the tax break option – the challenge is there for this Government to pick it up.”

A recent survey of MTA fuel station members showed crime was overwhelmingly the biggest concern they face.

In the meantime, Mr Marshall says businesses like service stations will remain at risk until the Government backs up the rhetoric on crime with strong action.

MTA has been in contact with the member to offer support.

  • MTA has 920 fuel station members around its 4000 membership.

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