A "spate of aggravated robberies and brutal attacks on shopkeepers" has led to the formation of a community action group.
Last night, a meeting was held in front of the Crown Superette in Mt Roskill, the scene of a brutal robbery on Sunday morning which left a shop keeper severely injured.
Sunny Kaushal, an Indian community leader who organised the meeting, said there has been an increase in crime on small businesses.
He said the meeting was attended by shopowners, community leaders, members of the public and police, in the form of Inspector Jacqui Whittaker, Area Commander for the Auckland City western area.
"In the last three days, three dairies were robbed in Auckland ... [the] brutal attack on a dairy at Melrose Rd in Mt Roskill has shaken the community," Kaushal said.
Police said seven people entered the Mt Roskill dairy about 7.30am on Sunday armed with a baseball bat and crowbar.
The two shop attendants were both assaulted before the group fled in two cars, taking cash and cigarettes, Detective Sergeant Philip Cox said.
Police have since charged two teenage girls, aged 13 and 14, with aggravated robbery. The pair will appear in the Auckland Youth Court.
On Monday a police car was fired upon during a chase through South Auckland after an armed robbery at a dairy, while on Sunday, a service station in Auckland's northwest was also held up and the attendant threatened with a knife.
Kaushal has been visiting one of the victims of the Mt Roskill attack at North Shore Hospital, as the man undergoes several surgeries.
The shopkeepers, a husband and wife, were both injured during the robbery.
At the meeting, Raj Chopra, owner of Crown Superette for 15 years, asked for greater police powers and harsher penalties for serious offenders, including electronic tagging.
Kaushal also said the action group would also involve religious bodies, business groups, education institutions and local boards.
"It [will] work closely with police ... besides educating the small businesses and communities on safety and prevention initiatives, it will be an action oriented group to take the issues head on with government authorities and lawmakers," he said.
"The small businesses contribute significantly to our economy and society. Brutal attacks on shopkeepers in broad daylight in public places shows the offenders have no fear of police, [the] law of the land, or the consequences whatsoever."
While speaking to the group, Kaushal said, "how many Navtej Singhs and Arun Kumars [do] we need to lose?"
Singh was shot in the chest by Anitelea Chan Kee, who raided his Manurewa liquor store for alcohol and cigarettes with five others on June 7, 2008.
Kumar was killed by a 14-year-old at the Railside Dairy in Henderson on June 10, 2014.
"The Government tell us crime is under control, but the real situation on [the] ground tells a different story," Kaushal said.
Other organisations included Bhartiya Samaj, the Punjabi community, Papatoetoe Business Association, and the Manukau Indian Association.
Puketapapa local board member Shail Kaushal said the Mt Roskill attack was "unacceptable" and more needed to be done to reduce crime in the area.
"We want to make Mt Roskill a safe place to own a business and shop," he said.
The action group is scheduled to meet again next week to discuss a potential petition to Government.