Higher risk in city at night
Violent crime statistics suggest people should keep their wits about them when stepping off the ferry into Auckland city at night.
Auckland central police area commander Matthew Srhoj said violent crimes are no more likely to happen in Auckland than in many other cities around New Zealand or the world, but walking alone at night is still not advisable.
‘‘It’s not really a good idea to walk anywhere on your own at night. If you do, make sure you’re very aware of your surroundings and make sure you don’t put yourself in awkward situations. It’s always better to be in a group,’’ he said.
Homeless people and beggars don’t generally pose a threat to passers by, Srhoj said. ‘‘Some of them are substance abusers and generally the issues occur around that. If you are approaching someone and their behaviour is unusual or erratic, try to avoid that person.’’
In the year from August 2016 to July 2017, 583 common assaults occurred in the Auckland central business district from downtown to Karangahape Road and from Wynyard Quarter to Vector Arena.
In the city centre in the past year, there were 111 serious assaults resulting in injury, 214 serious assaults without injury, 37 aggravated sexual assaults, 33 non aggravated sexual assaults, 119 aggravated robberies, and six abductions or attempted abductions.
In contrast, on Waiheke in the past year, there have been 32 common assaults, eight serious assaults causing injury and eight not causing injury, three aggravated sexual assaults and one non-aggravated sexual assault.
The early hours of the morning after Friday and Saturday nights in the city tend to be particularly troublesome. Assaults frequently occur in the backs streets around Elliott Street and Galway Street, Srhoj said.
While groups often get into alcohol fuelled brawls, occasionally individuals become victims of random attacks. ‘‘Most violent crime in the city is alcohol related - people get drunk and become offenders or they might end up being the victims.’’
Srhoj said it is safer to walk in well-lit areas where more people are around. ‘‘Listen to your instincts and if you feel uncomfortable, take a different route or consider a taxi,’’ he said.