There has been another incident involving a knife at a school in Hamilton, this time two students at Fairfield College were mugged by group of 4 other teen students, assaulted with an umbrella and threatened with a knife.
Hamilton Police will be working with schools and the Ministry of Education to work out ways of minimising the risks in City schools following an incident at a college this morning. City Deployment Manager, Inspector Karen Henrikson, said officers were called to Bankwood Rd, outside Fairfield College shortly before 10am.
“It appears two boys, who are students at the school, were confronted by a group of four other students, all boys aged 14-15-years old. “Members of the group demanded cigarettes from the victims and when they said they didn’t have any they were punched the pair, assaulted with an umbrella and threatened with a knife by members of that group.”
Ms Henrikson said the victims were taken to the school nurse’s office while the offenders fled on foot to nearby Donny Park. “Responding located the offenders in the park who fled through bushes and a nearby gully that a stream flows through.
“The four offenders were caught and arrested by the City’s Tactical Response Unit and two 14-year-olds appeared in the Hamilton District Court today in relation to the incident.” A third youth was referred to Youth Aid follow up action while the fourth boy was interviewed and released without further action.
“With this incident following on from a similar incident at another school last month Police will be working closely with Ministry of Education officials and school principals to identify ways to reduce the risk of any reoccurance.” source
Last month a knife was allegedly brandished at the college when a 26 year old armed man went to the school after his younger brother came home and told him he’d been threatened.
Previously at the same school, two sisters were arrested after they allegedly attacked a Year 13 girl at the school last year. Other students chased the 17-year-old girl’s boyfriend with sticks as he came to her aid (source)
Other schools in the town have also had their share of violent and armed teens. A 15-year-old girl from Hamilton Girls’ High School was charged with assault and threatening to kill when she walked into a class room armed with a knife last month.
It’s not just Hamilton though that is having problems with kitted-out school kids looking for trouble. Teacher Steve Hose was stabbed in the back and shoulder multiple times by a student at Te Puke High School, Bay of Plenty, also in May. Sadly, May was a bad month for school violence in New Zealand.
777 teachers were assaulted at work in New Zealand during 2008-2009. There were 1167 incidents of violence, including 51 grievous assaults last year across all educational institutions, including 14 of stabbing and cutting with a weapon (Statistics NZ) the rising violence is causing great concern among the teaching profession,
A little time ago Ross Brown, principal of Napier Boy’s High School said something that holds true for many schools and their communities in New Zealand. It related to a group of teens that were caught smoking cannabis at the school, but we think it applies to many of the problems youth are faced with in modern day New Zealand:
“schools are the litmus test for the community and unfortunately, we inherit its problems including incidents such as these, “It takes a village to raise a child and unfortunately in this case the village has let them down.”
But why is this happening? A total breakdown in family life and support at home for young people, generations of parents with no parenting skills to pass on, poverty, widespread drug and alcohol abuse, a culture of brutality and mental health issues are all factors. For more read blogs:
New Zealand, allegedly one of the safest and most peaceful places in the world to live, has just suffered another bomb alert. This form of domestic terrorism has been climbing in popularity recently within the country and sure seems to create a lot of disruption.
This time a bomb was said to have been left in a DIY store in St. Albans, Christchurch
Police are at the scene of a bomb scare on Cranford Street alleged to involve a disgruntled employee of the Placemakers DIY store. Cranford St has been closed to motorists following the incident which is understood to involve an employee of Placemakers who staff claim planted an improvised “bomb” on the premises. He is now being sought by the police.
Gary Bruorton, who lives opposite the Placemakers on Cranford Street in St Albans, said police had told people living nearby to stay inside their homes. “The word is it’s a bomb scare. The staff were evacuated and they are all standing in the street. The alarm went off about 2.40pm and it’s still going.” Bruorton said there were six police officers and four cars on the scene and up to 70 staff and customers from Placemakers standing in the road.
Small World Pre-school teacher Rebecca Roberts said she heard about the bomb scare from a parent who was unable to pick their child up. The children had been taken inside when police cars arrived in the area, and Roberts said they would not leave until the scare was over.
“At the moment, no-one’s going in and no-one’s going out.”
Other recent bomb alerts include:
Whangarei Intermediate School
School emptied after bomb alert (July)
An improvised explosive device was left in a 1080 (poison) depot in Broadlands Road, Taupo (June)
Otahuhu Car Bomb
Police cordoned off Princes St East in Otahuhu and evacuated around 50 homes in the Seaside Park-Brady Rd area after being told of a bomb in an abandoned car.
Auckland Bomb Scare
Three banks in lower Auckland were closed after a threat about a bomb in a non-specific ANZ bank was phoned in, sections of Queens Street were closed, causing disruption to the surrounding area (April)
Wellington Bomb Scare
Willeston House in central Wellington was evacuated after a note and email containing a bomb threat was made, cordoned off roads caused major disruption until the site was cleared by bomb squad experts (March)
Christchurch Bomb Scare
In January the Christchurch district court was evacuated after a bomb threat was made
Airline Bomb Threat
This is how New Zealand deals with people that cause major disruption through making bomb threats. In May two teenage women who made multiple bomb threats to Singapore Airlines, pretending to be terrorists, were sentenced to three months of community detention with a 12 hour daily curfew, 200 hours of community work and 12 months’ supervision.
Isn’t it ironic that New Zealand was recently named as the most peaceful place to live?
More children and young people have been injured in an horrific brawl that took place in Hastings at 5pm yesterday.
In what sounds suspiciously like a gang fight (NZ press now coyly use the term “group“) involving machetes and golf clubs, a ‘group’ of youths attacked 17 year old Saili Fiso, pushing him through a plate glass window and fracturing his elbow.
“the incident escalated further when one of the three youths involved in the initial assault allegedly drove a car into the group of people who were fighting. The group moved out of the way and a 13-year-old girl who was standing nearby was hit by the car. She is currently in hospital with serious leg injuries.” source
‘Killer’ Nation’s underbelly of Crime and Violence
The incident reminds us of the Edgeware Road killings.
Harry Young moved from East Lancashire, UK to New Zealand seven years ago, looking for a better life for his family. His daughter Jane, 16, was one of two young women murdered in the Edgeware Road killings, Christchurch just four years later.
Lipine Sila was sentenced to life with a minimum non parole period of 17 years for their deaths. He’d deliberately driven his car into a group of young people standing at the side of the road. Mr Young said he’d moved his family from the UK to:
“escape worrying levels of crime, drug abuse and violence in a society he felt was full of social unrest.
He chose “100 per cent Pure” Godzone to live, because of its billing as a safe paradise to raise a family and “to get away from it all“.
Now he feels he made a terrible mistake.
“New Zealand has an underbelly of general crime and violence and social practices that’s not really known about,” he says.
The 50-year-old’s view of his new homeland has been changed by his daughter’s horrific murder…
Harry Young says his friends and family overseas view New Zealand as a dangerous place after Jane’s death and are now also aware of tourists being “raped and robbed” too.
He says the Corrections Department is failing and should be renamed. Offenders just spend time with other criminals and emerge worse than when they went in… “
Hastings already has a nasty reputation for its gang activities and late night street violence. Days ago a 23 year old was savagely beaten by a gang in neighbouring Napier. But, we’re still shocked that something like this has happened and that NZ youths are still using cars as battering rams during street fights. It belies the myth that New Zealand is a safe place to raise children and that their quality of life is better there than in other western countries.
Our thoughts go out to the children who were injured and their families, we wish them a speedy recovery.
For more about NZ’s gang problem see posts tagged Gangs
Update: The trial of Steve Ellis is now underway, he is charged with arson (guilty) and is pleading not guilty to murder and rape. For more click here
The woman who was said to have died a violent death (said to be by stabbing) in Glenfield four days ago has been identified as 43-year-old Jacqueline Blackbourn, she’d emigrated from Britain about 20 years ago.
Her body was found when emergency services were called to a house fire on View Road, Glenfield, a suburb of North Shore City in the Auckland region. Her death has led to a homicide investigation being carried out.
The Herald says that Ms Blackbourn had recently split up with her partner, Steve Ellis. He was severely burned in the fire was found outside the property wearing only his underpants. Her former boyfriend, Karl Hawthorne, told reporters that Ms Blackbourn:
“worked in the accounts section of Harvey Norman at Wairau Park, was “the life of the party” and loved dancing, Mr Hawthorne said.
She missed her family, who were all overseas.
“She was really close to her mum,” he said. “There wouldn’t have been two days go by that she wasn’t in contact with her.”
Another friend, Margie Cardwell, described Ms Blackbourn as an “English rose”. “She was really feminine and girly, looked quite young for her age. She had a heart of gold.”
Ms Blackbourn’s brother, Tommaso Cerullo, yesterday left a heartfelt message for her on a social networking website.
“Rest in peace my darling sister. Love you and always will. You will never be forgotten in my heart or soul, miss you so much.
“To all the people that had the pleasure of having their heart lifted by her kindness and her smile, thank you for being there for her.”
Detective Senior Sergeant Kim Libby, of North Shore CIB, said police officers hoped to speak to Mr Ellis in the next couple of days.
His injuries were not life-threatening, he added.
They would continue combing the scene of the fire today. A post mortem examination has been carried out on Ms Blackbourn, but police have declined to reveal the cause of death, saying only that it was violent.”
Our deepest sympathies are extended to Jacqueline’s family and friends for their terrible loss, our thoughts are with you at this time and in the difficult days that lie ahead.
Background – “Woman’s ‘violent death’ in fire was homicide, say police” - “Police have launched a homicide investigation after a house fire in suburban Glenfield claimed a woman’s life on Saturday…” Herald article 28 June 2010
Update 14 July
A 28 year old man, who has been given interim name suppression, has appeared in court charged with injuring with intent to injure, assault with intent to injure, assault with a weapon and intentional damage. He has also been charged with historical offences that related to another female complainant. More here
This story that the ‘land of plenty’, the nation whose economy depends so much on agriculture and growing sufficient food to be self sustaining, can’t even keep a fast food chain stocked up caught our attention this morning.
This story was running in the Herald
“A shortage of cucumber, lamb and turkey has hit Subway stores from Kaitaia to Invercargill.
A sign at Auckland’s Queen St store said: “Due to the critical supply issue with cucumber we need to reduce the amount of cucumber on sandwiches for a limited time.”
At Subway Eden Quarter in Mt Eden, a notice said: “We are currently out of stock of our turkey and roast lamb products due to unforseen circumstances until further notice.”
Subway marketing manager David Herrick said there was a seasonal shortage of cucumbers because of cold growing conditions, which led Subway to look at sourcing them from Australia…”
Ok, we can appreciate that cucumber growing conditions may not be ideal at present, those NZ winters can be pretty harsh. But turkey and lamb?! Lamb is the staple food, the national dish of New Zealand.
How can New Zealand ever run out of lamb?