Canterbury, more specifically Christchurch, is undergoing something of a serious crime wave at the moment with the news this morning that a pub was held-up by two men armed with a gun and a knife last night. The region is now averaging more than one violent armed robbery a week in commercial premises.
Patrons at the Glenbyre Tavern in Christchurch (above) were shot at by one of the men but managed to fend off the attackers until police turned up to arrest them. Read the full story here.
Other aggravated burglaries in the area during the last 8 weeks, the majority of them committed using a firearm:
7 July: ASB Asian Banking Centre in Riccarton, CHRISTCHURCH11.20am, man armed with a large knife link
6 July: Cashel Food Market, Cashel St/Fitzgerald Ave, CHRISTCHURCH 8.05pm, two men with gun link
6 July: Aladdin Dairy, Armagh/Barbadoes streets, CHRISTCHURCH, 7.05pm, man with gun link
29 June: St Martins Pharmacy,CHRISTCHURCH, man with a knife escaped with morphine link
26 June: Leithfield Hotel, LEITHFIELD, North Canterbury. 11.30pm. Man with gun tied up proprietor and escaped with money and alcohol link. See also “high risk robberies for little financial gain“
26 June: Edgeware Road Post Shop, St Albans, CHRISTCHURCH. Two men with guns robbed shop at 12.30 in the afternoon. 8 People traumatised link and link
18 June: ANZ Bank, Avonhead, CHRISTCHURCH 11.20am, two men. No details released about weapon used, thousands of dollars taken link and link
29 May: Opawa Universal Dairy, Opawa, CHRISTCHURCH man with firearm injured dairy owner, escaped with tobacco, 9.50pm link
14 May: National Bank, Hornby, CHRISTCHURCH, two men with knife, 1.15pm link
Almost 370,000 criminal prosecutions were taken through the New Zealand courts in the past year. That’s 9% higher than the previous year and 40% higher than in 2000.
In 2008 there were a total of 1,160 recorded aggravated robberies, of which 163 were firearm related and 223 used a stabbing or cutting weapon (source NZ statistics) which means that thousands of innocent members of the public and people at work have been affected by armed robberies in NZ. Not something that you’d readily associate with New Zealand’s ‘low crime’ image.
A while ago we wrote of how a senior bank manager expressed his concern that armed robberies had reached an historic level in New Zealand after 84 banks were held-up in the last calender year after increasing in number over the last three years.
Some think the rise is due mostly to increased levels of hardship caused by the recession. Or could it be that banks and small businesses are seen as nothing more than easy targets by thieves who have no fear of being caught because prison is a warm bed and three square meals a day?
For more read the Migrants’ Tale: NZ a more dangerous, more violent place – “Is NZ a failed nation?”
and a quote from Police Minister Judith Collins:
“In the 18 months that I have been police minister I have been shocked at the level of violent and anti-social behaviour in our society,” Ms Collins said.”