Shop owner's killing haunts suburb

DONNA-LEE BIDDLE
Last updated 12:13 29/06/2014
Railside Dairy
CHRIS SKELTON/Fairfax NZ

MEMORIAL: Flowers placed outside the Railside Dairy where Arun Kumar was stabbed to death.

Arun Kumar
YOUTH VIOLENCE: Dairy owner Arun Kumar, 57, was stabbed to death in his own shop.

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Henderson shop owners say nothing has improved since the killing of dairy owner Arun Kumar.

Arun Kumar, 57, was stabbed in his Henderson dairy on June 10, dying at the scene.

A 13 year old boy is charged with murder and a 12 year old with manslaughter for the death of Kumar. Both have name suppression.

Henderson businesses say there had been on going problems with youths loitering in the shopping area for months before the attack on Kumar.

And they say since the killing, despite an increased police presence, groups of youths are still hanging around and intimidating shop owners and customers.

On Monday evening, Henderson businesses will be meeting with Auckland Council officials to discuss the problems.

Great North Road bakery owner, Lee Kant, said youths that hang around her shop frighten her.

"I'm still scared. I don't work at dark anymore. There are not enough police to look out."

Boda Carter, owner of tattoo shop Sanctuary Ink, said the youth problem was so bad, he shifted his store further along Great North road towards Waitakere District Court.

"There needs to be more street work done by the police, said Carter, " Bring back the Maori wardens I say."

Wynyard Court chef, Caleb Carter said he has been a victim of youths in the past - before the attack on Kumar. He was catching a  train home, from Henderson to Britomart, when he was mugged by eight youths.

"They got on with me at Henderson and I didn't think anything of it. Then they jumped me and took my phone."

The 17-year-old was left with a black-eye and sore ribs. No no-one has been charged in relation to his attack.

"Police emailed me and said there was nothing on the footage [CCTV cameras]. They said there was nothing they could do."

Waitakere police area commander Rob Cochrane has said the Henderson CBD has been policed "more than ever" over the past four months.

There have been more than 360 foot patrols in Henderson since January and police cars have rolled through the area more than 900 times so far this year.

Cochrane said a lot of work was being done with ethnic shopowners in particular to build up trust and confidence in the police.

"They might think the police don't want to know about it but we do," he said.

Police have a specialist youth development team that put youth through programmes to help get them on the right track.

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