The Australasian Association of Convenience Stores has called on the government to enact stronger legislation to protect convenience stores in the wake of recent violent robberies.
The call, issued by AACS CEO Jeff Rogut this morning, follows reports of a violent armed robbery in Glen Waverely, Melbourne on Friday.
During the robbery, a man and woman armed with a machete are reported to have threatened a service station attendant at a store on Gallaghers Rd at about 5.30am, stealing the cash register tray.
The AACS last year echoes calls from Victoria Police for a stronger legislative response allowing for tougher penalties for offenders, as well as creating a new ‘aggravated shop steal’ offense.
Mr Rogut said violent robberies typically target cigarettes and said the AACS have also called for a moratorium on tobacco product excise increases, saying he believes there is a direct link between the price increase and an increase in both robberies and illegal tobacco.
“It is imperative that police, the courts and the legislature are on the same page when it comes to crime. Violent criminals forfeit their right to live among the rest of us. They should pay the highest possible price for the physical, emotional, psychological and financial harm they inflict on victims,” Mr Rogut said.
“Crime is a major one as incidents like armed robbery, petrol theft and the spread of illegal cigarettes are unacceptable. To date, our representations to ministers on the issue of crime has fallen on deaf ears.”
“No-one in the course of their work should be subject to any kind of traumatic, violent experience. The AACS calls for a stronger legislative response to more appropriately punish thieves to the full extent of the law,” Mr Rogut said.