Stephanie is a senior reporter for the Rotorua Daily Post.

Robbery victim: My perception of safety has changed

Parwinder Singh says he thinks about the incident every day and how lucky he was not to have been hurt. PHOTO/BEN FRASER
Parwinder Singh says he thinks about the incident every day and how lucky he was not to have been hurt. PHOTO/BEN FRASER

Parwinder Singh's perceptions of safety in New Zealand have changed after being the victim of crime.

A Rotorua liquor store owner says his perception of New Zealand changed drastically after being violently threatened and robbed.

Sunset Rd Bottle-O liquor store manager Parwinder Singh was manning the counter on the evening of October 4 last year when a young person entered his store, threatening and robbing him.

A year on, Mr Singh says he still thinks about the events of that day and how it could have been different.

"I came to this country for a new life and good opportunities. When I first came here I didn't think there were bad people - not like the kind of bad people in India.

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"After that day when I was threatened my perception changed and I realised I had to be more careful.

"But it wasn't just my perception that changed, I changed too - now I check out every person's face, I started going to the gym and when at the counter I stand in a way that shows I'm not scared."

Mr Singh said he had 15 cameras in his liquor store, did training on how to react in threatening situations and ensured there were two people rostered on at all times.

"I keep thinking how lucky I am that my friend was in the store at the time I was threatened because if I had been alone I think it would have been a different story.

"I think had the offenders not been caught by the police I would feel more like a victim, I'd still be scared."

He said while people had stolen from his store since, he had thankfully not been threatened again.

"A lot of the time people try to walk out with stuff, like a grab-and-run move, I am very thankful I have only been confronted that one time."

Mr Singh said he thought the crime figures were not a reflection of the good work done by Rotorua's police.

"The police do a wonderful job, I don't think the rise in crime is because they are not working hard, I think it has more to do with people being more bold and attempting to commit crimes more often."

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