Christchurch Street Robbery “Almost Endemic” Says Judge

If you’re out and about in Christchurch, NZ,  late at night there is a strong likelihood that you’ll be set upon and robbed, according to the words of a judge recently quoted in Court News.

The city, already named “New Zealand’s murder capital” seems to be plagued with late night random acts of violence, many of which we’ve written about in this blog.

Its hordes of illegal street racers or ‘hoons’ are a disruptive force too, ruining the quality of life for a good many residents.  Altogether it makes the city not a pleasant place to be in, especially once the sun sets.

“Street robbery becoming ‘almost endemic’ – judge

Street robbery was becoming an “almost endemic” part of living in Christchurch, a judge warned as he jailed three men for forcing a passer-by to withdraw money from a cash machine and hand it over. Judge Brian Callaghan said there now a strong likelihood that people in the city late at night would be set upon and robbed.

“The robberies occurring against individual citizens, with the demanding of money or items, seems to be almost endemic in Christchurch and that is why denunciation and deterrence are called for,” he said.

He was sentencing the trio for an incident where the victim – who had been drinking – walked past them in High Street, in the central city, about 1am on Friday April 2. He was accosted, assaulted, threatened, and forced to hand over cash and then make two withdrawals from an automatic teller machine.

Manu George Leonard, 33, Charlie Tihema Cooper, 17, and Christopher Puaaelo, 31, all unemployed, admitted the charge of robbery before their sentencing by Judge Callaghan in the Christchurch District Court today.

Crown prosecutor Marcus Zintl said all three of the men had been under existing sentences at the time of the robbery and Puaaelo had also been on bail“more

The sort of crimes that the new Three Strikes law could be applied to perhaps?

Something has to be done to clean the place up before the Rugby World Cup in 2011. Otherwise thousands of cashed-up foreign fans, most of them thinking that New Zealand is a benevolent country with low crime rates, may be in for an unpleasant surprise.

See also:

What Lies Beneath – “Bizarre and high-profile murders of Christchurch women have spawned the title “Crimechurch”. Is there something uniquely brutal lurking beneath the Garden City’s polished veneer?”  NZ Listener Magazine Article

Asians Attacked in Riccarton Rampage -“A number of Asian people were attacked attacked by a knife wielding robber in the Riccarton suburb of Christchurch” blog May 2010

Japanese Students Attacked at Christchurch Bus Stop – “Two students attacked by skin heads” blog February 2010

Three Violent Deaths on the Same Christchurch Street in Three Months Residents of Olliviers Rd, Phillipstown are stunned after the third violent death in as little as four months and the armed offenders squad had to deal with a man supposedly armed with a pistol” blog August 2009

Christchurch, New Zealand Sucks – Kiwis talk about the city