Under Reporting Of Crime To The Media

Something that we’ve long suspected was confirmed today – many crimes simply don’t make it to the media. Perhaps because of the adverse publicity they may attract?

Prize of the week goes to the NZ Herald for coming across and publishing the story about the store of shop keeper Navtej Singh being held up again only 2 months after he was killed in it in June 2008. It’s surprising that nothing was published about it a year ago.

Eventually the story has seen the light of day according to a Herald report today:

“Gurwinder Singh, 40, who watched as Navtej Singh was shot point blank, was still grieving when Douglas Leatinuu and two others entered his store on August 6 to rob it.

Last week Leatinuu was sentenced to three years and six months in prison for aggravated robbery and burglary charges arising from other incidents.

Judge Roy Wade said while sentencing Leatinuu, the case was “particularly poignant” because of Mr Singh’s victim impact statement.

The victim of this liquor store robbery tells me that his most traumatic feature of the ordeal was the knowledge that only [two] months earlier his business partner had been shot dead in another aggravated robbery of precisely the same liquor store.”

The court heard that the three men had, after entering the liquor store, attempted to convince Gurwinder Singh to let them take some alcohol and pay the next day. Mr Singh refused and the group left.

But seconds later they re-entered, pushed 22-year-old shop assistant Sahib Singh backwards and swore at him. Mr Singh was on the phone to the police by then and was describing everything that was happening, he said yesterday…..”

The death of  Navtej Singh, which caused an outcry in June 2008, was one of a spate of attacks on Auckland shop workers last year. Why the news of the second robbery wasn’t released at the time is anybody’s guess but feelings in the Indian community were running high at the time and rightly so. Were the press asked to keep a lid on it and if so what does that say about press freedom in NZ?

Mr Singh’s family said that police had waited 28 minutes after he was shot before they would allow paramedics to access the scene of the crime, despite 111 staff being told that the robbers had long since left the premises. Vital time was lost in administering medical aid to the wounded man who later died from his injuries.
A month later around 10,000 people took part in an Auckland rally to protest about violence against Asians in the city after 3 people of Asian descent were killed within the space of a month:

  • A week after Navtej Singh was killed 80-year-old Yan Ping Yang died after being attacked by an intruder in her Manurewa home.
  • Joanne Wang, 39, died in hospital in late June after being knocked down by a stolen vehicle in a car park at the Manukau Westfield shopping centre after her handbag was snatched. Her 8 year old son was with her at the time.

Earlier in the year  Krishna Naidu was stabbed to death by a 16 year old youth in a dairy in Finlayson Avenue, Manurewa.

The march was organised by the Asian Anti-Crime group and included people carrying coffins and placards with pictures of those killed.

Others carried New Zealand flags and signs calling for tougher sentencing and zero tolerance for crime.

Nether request has ever been met.

Also see
Police solved only 5 of the 53 aggravated robberies of South Auckland shops in the six months before liquor store owner Navtej Singh was fatally shot in a hold-up.

Today’s posts – click here