Group wants more K Rd crime reported
Victims of assault and other crimes on Karangahape Rd are being urged to make sure they report them.
The K Rd Community Safety group has been advocating for security improvements but say under-reporting of incidents is hampering their efforts.
‘‘Unfortunately we live in a world where statistics drive everything.
‘‘When it comes to making a difference and getting change, you’ve got to have those numbers,’’ spokeswoman Karen Ritchie says.
The group was formed in 2013 following a perceived increase in violence against gay people on the popular strip.
‘‘It’s been the place where the gay community has socialised for years so it is very important that they’re able to do that in a safe environment,’’ Ritchie says.
‘‘Some are targeted because they are part of the gay community, for others it’s just because they’re out there.
‘‘We tend to find that most of this comes from people coming into the area and hit K Rd to party and then get agitated.
‘‘It’s definitely alcohol induced,’’ Ritchie says.
Last month a DJ from Family Downunder bar was threatened and robbed while walking home.
Ritchie is aware of some tourists who were assaulted over the Christmas break but didn’t go to the police.
Ritchie believes there are a number of reasons people might choose not to.
‘‘It might be that they’ve had a few drinks themselves and they think they’ll just deal with it,’’ she says.
Ultimately the group would like to see a community patrol or ambassador system operating on K Rd.
‘‘If we can’t be involved in that side of things, which we are strongly pushing for, then we will be looking at pushing to have a community police station on the road,’’ Ritchie says.
Blanket closing times introduced by changes to the Sale and Supply of Liquor Act are not the answer, Ritchie says.
‘‘At what point in time do we make people responsible for their actions?’’ she says.
‘‘If you’re doing this you need to be punished, not the bars and the people having a good time.’’
Police are taking preventative action against crime in the area, Auckland City police Inspector Joel Lamb says.
‘‘We are focused on K Rd and our patrols at key times are based on a robust intelligence and deployment model.
‘‘We also continue to work with the various business associations in an effort to further reduce crime,’’ he says.