Store­front knife dis­play cuts lo­cal to the quick

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By AN­DREA O’NEIL

A lo­cal busi­ness sell­ing knives is not con­tribut­ing to the risk of armed crime in Porirua, its owner says.

Pete’s Em­po­rium on Paru­moana St sells hunt­ing and cook­ery knives of vary­ing sizes, dis­played in a large glass-front cabi­net near the counter.

A mem­ber of the pub­lic ap­proached Kapi-Mana News re­cently with con­cerns about its prom­i­nent dis­play, but Pete’s Em­po­rium owner Pete Bunn says knives are avail­able at plenty of lo­cal shops, where they are not as se­curely dis­played as they are at his.

‘‘Kitchen knives are ac­tu­ally the sharpest and Briscoes sells them, they’re not be­hind a cabi­net ei­ther.’’

A CBD of­fice worker, who wished to re­main anony­mous, said she was ‘‘hor­ri­fied’’ to see Pete’s Em­po­rium promi­nently dis­play­ing knives af­ter her of­fice suf­fered two at­tempted rob­beries in three months.

‘‘Peo­ple who buy hunt­ing weapons do so from proper hunt­ing shops. The only peo­ple that will buy these knives will be do­ing so to com­mit crime or threaten peo­ple,’’ the worker said.‘‘My con­cern is, next time these thugs come back to rob us, they’ll be armed with knives.’’

The wo­man’s work­place, an of­fice above street level in the CBD, has been tar­geted by young bur­glars dur­ing work­ing hours twice this win­ter. The sec­ond in­ci­dent turned into a ver­bal and phys­i­cal al­ter­ca­tion with a fe­male staff mem­ber. Po­lice have caught one of the of­fend­ers, who was sen­tenced to 40 hours’ com­mu­nity ser­vice.

‘‘I’m not against the shop mak­ing money, but I, along with many Porirua res­i­dents, do not feel these are prod­ucts we want sold in our city, which is al­ready plagued with crime,’’ the worker said.

The worker com­plained to po­lice in late Au­gust about the knife dis­play.

Mr Bunn says the po­lice had not ap­proached him about a com­plaint.

Knives are sold safely at the shop, he says. Cus­tomers have to be over 18 to buy knives and se­nior staff make a judg­ment call whether to sell knives to in­di­vid­u­als.

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