Cherie Howie is a reporter for the Herald on Sunday.

Bashed Papakura business owner reacts to PM Bill English's crime-fighting announcement

Red Earth owner Chris Turner has returned to work, following a brutal attack at the restaurant on Monday. Photo / Supplied
Red Earth owner Chris Turner has returned to work, following a brutal attack at the restaurant on Monday. Photo / Supplied

The Prime Minister's plan to inject more than $500 million into fighting crime, including a boost to police numbers, has won the support of one of the most recent victims of violent crime.

Red Earth Eatery and Wine Bar co-owner Chris Turner is still recovering from a broken rib and serious facial injuries, including a fractured eye socket and multiple deep cuts, after a brutal attack at his Papakura business on Monday night.

Five teens allegedly used bricks in an attack on the 32-year-old. His watch and items from the business are also alleged to have been taken.

Chris Turner in hospital following the attack. Photo / Supplied.
Chris Turner in hospital following the attack. Photo / Supplied.

Turner is out of hospital and back at work, albeit still feeling very sore, and welcomed Bill English's announcement today.

English has promised police will get 1125 extra staff over four years, including 880 extra sworn police officers.

"That certainly can't hurt," Turner said.

"As long as they're ... preventing violent crime, domestic violence. I wouldn't want to see a big increase in warrant checks, for example.

"Sexual, violence, anti-business crimes, tagging. Those sort of things, and addressing disorder in the streets. That's not just a Papakura problem, that's all over the city.

"We've got people doing things they shouldn't be doing and there's not a cop in sight."

He wished the boost came sooner.

"It's probably too late, it should've been done ages ago."

Under English's plan there will be 140 additional specialist investigators for child protection, sexual assault, family violence and other serious crime - although 66 have been previously announced in last year's family violence package.

Eighty additional officers will also target organised crime, gangs and methamphetamine.

Prime Minister Bill English announced the crime-fighting plan during his State of the Nation speech. Photo / Dean Purcell
Prime Minister Bill English announced the crime-fighting plan during his State of the Nation speech. Photo / Dean Purcell

Turner, meanwhile, said he had not been cowed from returning to the restaurant, which he runs as part of a family business.

After being discharged from hospital yesterday, he went back to finish the job he was doing before the attack - updating the wine list.

However, his parents took him to their home for the night a couple of hours later, he said.

"Mum was pretty keen on dragging me home."

A police spokeswoman confirmed two men - aged 17 and 18 - have been charged with aggravated robbery in relation to the incident.

A third person has been charged with being an accessory after the fact.

- NZ Herald

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