A security guard at Onepoto Primary School in the affluent suburb of North Shore, Auckland was shot in a the face after he was attacked by a teenager demanding money on Friday evening. Despite the guards protestations that he had no cash on him the young thug shot him four times in the face and arms with an airgun. Read the report here.
In the NZ Herald’s account of the attack:
“Neighbour Kim Dolinsky, 49, said she saw a teenage boy with an airgun earlier in the day. She said the boy was part of a gang of youths who often caused trouble in the neighbourhood. “We’ve had enough of it, the intimidation.”
Official police figures show that during 2009 violent crime rose by 9.2% for the whole of new Zealand with 65,465 offences being recorded. The number of recorded homicide offences leaped from 23 to 134, with 65 recorded murders in 2009 compared to 13 in 2008.
But what does this escalation of violent crime mean on a local level for the residents in suburbs that were once thought of as relatively safe and ‘great places to raise kids’ ? How do those stats translate into everyday reality?
You may remember the story of a Beach Haven mother who was disgusted at random acts of violent that were ruling the streets of her community. Beach Haven is just to the west of Northcote where Onepoto primary school is situated.
The mother said she considered it a lovely, sunny place that didn’t feel violent but had been hearing of regular incidents of thuggery and had found out (through Facebook) that two young boys were beaten up at 6am on morning as they waited for a bus on Rangatira Rd. One had his nose broken, eye-socket cracked and three teeth knocked out. His shoes and cellphone were stolen. See Street attack fuels fears:
“Beach Haven community constable Grant Kenny says police haven’t been able to identify the offenders. The case is on hold unless they receive new information, he says.
Liz says Beach Haven and Birkdale have a sad reputation already.
“Why exactly do we have this random violence ruling the streets of Beach Haven?” she says.
“There has got to be a better way to sort it out than simply moving to Takapuna.”
Even Takapuna has its problems though, in September of last year a man walked into Rodney Wayne hairdressers in the Westfield Shopping Centre with a shotgun and robbed the staff, punching one of them in the throat.
To our knowledge no one has been arrested in connection with that incident either.
The attack on the security guard has all the signs of a gang initiation task and we suspect that gang activity has become well established in North Shore since the extremely violent attacks on two separate young couples in January 2oo8:
“New Zealand’s fastest-growing gang has spread to the North Shore, and is linked to this week’s hyper-violent attacks.
The Weekend Herald has learned that one of those charged with the attacks, an 18-year-old from Glenfield, has a close family connection to the North Shore “recruiter” for the street gang, known as the Killer Beez, that started in the South Auckland suburb of Otara and now has followers throughout the city.
North Shore Mayor Andrew Williams last night described the gang’s presence as “disturbing“.
He said he would meet police next week to make sure street gangs did not get a foothold on the North Shore, and wanted to tell the Killer Beez or any of their counterparts considering crossing the bridge it was no “soft touch“.
Police investigating Wednesday’s attacks have raised the possibility that they were done as a “prospecting” exercise for the Killer Beez…”