Higher risk in city at night

Waiheke Marketplace - - Front Page - ROSE DAVIS

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.

Trust your in­stincts to avoid dan­ger in Auck­land city at night, says po­lice area com­man­der Matthew Srhoj. PETER REES

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