The Press

Po­lice sorry for de­lay af­ter man threat­ened by gang

- Sam Sher­wood sam.sher­wood@stuff.co.nz Crime · Viral · Incidents · Christchurch · Changan Suzuki Lingyang

Po­lice took seven hours to call back a man who was threat­ened by two gang mem­bers in this ‘‘most ter­ri­fy­ing’’ in­ci­dent of his life.

The de­lay has prompted an apol­ogy from po­lice, who say their re­sponse was ‘‘be­low ex­pec­ta­tions’’.

The Christchur­ch man, who de­clined to be named, told The Press he was re­vers­ing out of his drive­way in Phillip­stown about mid­day on Mon­day when he clipped a parked car.

He pulled over and got out of his car as the owner of the other car crossed the road with another man. Both men are un­der­stood to be gang­mem­bers.

‘‘I wanted to stop and do the right thing, and he asked me if I wanted to f… with the gang ... [then] pro­ceeded to smash my mir­ror off.’’

The man, a 50-year-old who is on a dis­abil­ity ben­e­fit af­ter break­ing his neck, was about to take a photo of the other car’s num­ber plate when the sec­ond gang­mem­ber threat­ened him.

The vic­tim ran in­side to call po­lice, then re­mem­bered he had left his keys in his car.

His car was still there when he re­turned, but the keys – and the men with the parked car – had gone. He then called po­lice and told them what hap­pened.

Po­lice did not call him back un­til 7.30pm – more than seven hours af­ter the in­ci­dent.

The Press un­der­stands the emer­gency call taker recorded the in­ci­dent as in­ten­tional dam­age, when it should have been cat­e­gorised as rob­bery. It is un­der­stood the er­ror was even­tu­ally picked up shortly be­fore po­lice called him back.

Theman told po­lice he had just taken some sleep­ing pills and asked if they could come around the next day.

The man was wor­ried about his car be­ing stolen, so took the bat­tery lead out just be­fore go­ing to bed.

He got up just be­fore 8am to check if the car was still there and found it had been de­stroyed.

‘‘I sus­pected it may have been stolen, but in­stead of that it was a burnt out ve­hi­cle.’’

The man had re­cently in­sured the Suzuki Swift and was do­ing it up for his daugh­ter, who was about to lose her com­pany car.

He said po­lice apol­o­gised to him about the de­lay as he gave his state­ment on Tues­day.

The seven-hour de­lay was a ‘‘long time’’, given the in­ci­dent had been the ‘‘most ter­ri­fy­ing thing I’ve been through in my life’’.

‘‘The power of that guy to smash the mir­ror off like that – I just couldn’t be­lieve it. I was just so happy it wasn’t my head, that’s what I was think­ing.’’

Can­ter­bury po­lice metro area com­man­der Su­per­in­ten­dent Lane Todd said po­lice were re­view­ing their re­sponse to the in­ci­dent, which, on the face of it, was ‘‘be­low ex­pec­ta­tions’’.

‘‘Po­lice have apol­o­gised di­rectly to the vic­tim in this mat­ter for our slow re­sponse, and he is be­ing kept in­formed with the in­ves­ti­ga­tion’s progress.’’

‘‘I was just so happy it wasn’t my head, that’s what I was think­ing.’’ Christ church­man af­ter a gang mem­ber smashed a mir­ror off his car.

 ?? STUFF ?? Rem­nants of where a car was burnt out af­ter an in­ci­dent with gang mem­bers in Lin­wood.
STUFF Rem­nants of where a car was burnt out af­ter an in­ci­dent with gang mem­bers in Lin­wood.
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