Dairy owners fog off robbers

By Tema Hemi

Titahi Bay dairy owners Chandra and Priyanka Patel are now the proud owners of a brand new fog cannon security system. Despite never having a major burglary for 14 years, they are not taking any chances in protecting their business against criminals.

Dairy owner Chandra Patel says, "They [criminals] can’t see anything, they can’t take anything out of the shop and they can’t run away."

Police are reporting a sharp drop in dairy robberies after the government dished out more than $2 million for security upgrades, which included arming diaries with fog cannons.

Minister of Police Stuart Nash says, "This is a fantastic initiative and what we do know is since these fog canons have been installed aggravated robberies have dropped by 40%, harm has dropped by 41%.”

Chandras’ wife Priyanka Patel says, "It’s good and safe for us, our kids and our community."

The national government established a $1.8 million fund to cover half the cost of fog cannon security systems for at-risk dairies in June 2017. Businesses were slow to take up the offer, cannons costing around $4000, so the coalition government lowered the contribution rate to $250.

Nash also says, "What we also know, 16 fog cannon have been set off during robberies and during that time not one person has been injured and very, very little damage to property. Actually, only Monday this week, a chap entered a dairy up north with a machete, the owner set of the fog cannon and he high tailed it."

A fog cannon security system involves a machine that fills a room with dense fog, preventing the intruder from seeing anything.

Priyanka Patel also says, "We've been here for many years and I go all the time working at the shop by myself."

Fog cannons have been installed in 445 dairies and a further 90 at-risk businesses would get the security system after the government allocated an extra $370,000 earlier this year.