Suffolk Couple Put Emigration Plans On Hold After Experiencing NZ’s Crime

Today’s Herald is reporting on British couple Dean and Tabitha Forbes who lost most of their possessions whilst on a pre-emigration trip to Auckland, New Zealand.

Mr Forbes, from Suffolk in England, had been offered a position as an aircraft engineer at Ardmore Airport. Mrs Forbes, who works in IT, was still looking for a job, but the couple had taken some downtime from job hunting to visit Auckland museum on Wednesday.

When they came out of the museum they found their car had been broken in to and two suitcases containing computer and electronics equipment, Christmas presents, cash and a gold necklace bequeathed to Mrs Forbes by her mother, had been stolen.

The couple told the Herald that they wanted to migrate to New Zealand because of the “relaxed way of life and other charms” whilst on a brief visit last year and compared New Zealand to the Britain of  1980. Unknowingly, this was probably a valid comparison given the dire economic state the UK was in at that time. But, they were kindergarten age back then  and are unlikely to be making the comparison based on personal experience – but rather on an ideological judgment of some halcyon bygone age that never really existed,  a common misconception among western migrants to New Zealand.

Mr Forbes said that they had never been victims of crime in the 34 years they had lived in the UK and that the theft has “put a big dent” in how the see the place. They are keen to return home and re-evaluate their reasons for emigrating. Perhaps, for the first time, they are seeing New Zealand for real.

We’d like to pass on our best wishes to the Forbes and we hope that Tabitha one day recovers her mother’s necklace. However, we think the couple are wise to reconsider their move because of what else they may lose in the future. Read our Migrant Tales series for more.

New Zealand’s Crime Problem (click on links for details)

New Zealand has a high level of crime, much of it due to social deprivation and drug (P and cannabis) use.

Theft from cars is the most commonly reported form of theft in New Zealand. In 2009 there were 43,105 incidents reported – that’s almost five every hour.

During one recent survey 80% of people thought that crime was a serious problem in New Zealand. The country also has one of the highest incarceration rates in the developed world locking up people at a rate of 199 per 100,000. The European average is about 80.  Australia jails a third less than NZ does, according to figures from the International Centre for Prison Studies.

By July of this year 370,000 criminal convictions had been made by NZ courts over the year. An increase of 9% over the previous year and 40% higher than in 2000.

Methamphetamine (P) has New Zealand in it’s grip. A former Hamilton detective has accused the Government of a “head in the sand mentality” when it comes to New Zealand’s growing drug culture. New Zealand now rates as the third highest number of P users per capita in the world.

On average 200 P labs are discovered on residential streets every year in New Zealand. “Drug experts warn the makeshift labs are ticking time bombs that pose a risk to their occupants and to those who live unsuspectingly alongside them…Often the labs are uncovered only by accident – or after they explode.” The number uncovered is declining as ‘cooks’ get more adept at hiding them.

For more about Crime in New Zealand see our Crime stats and facts page HERE

Read Also:

British Migrants Robbed:

“”An English family who came to New Zealand to make a fresh start were left with only the clothes on their backs when their motel was burgled two days after they arrived.

Dawn and Conrad Tutin and their children Stephanie, 14, and Kiel, 12, arrived from Nottingham a week ago to begin a new life in Auckland, where Mr Tutin will work for Fisher & Paykel…””

More British tourists robbed, no gold for New Plymouth:

“Earlier today we wrote about honeymooning couple Simon and Sabine Greenslade whose campervan was robbed of outside of Auckland Zoo, losing most of their holiday and honeymooning photographs amongst other possessions.

We’ve also heard about another young British couple, Jake Graham and Jess Kelly,whose campervan was also broken into and who lost almost everything they owned in New Plymouth yesterday afternoon…”

Other stories you may find interesting

Honeymoon couple lose precious photos, no ‘gold medal’ in Auckland

US rowing team member  robbed, world rowing championships 2010 in Queenstown

Czech Tourist, Jan Fakotor, Stabbed In Motueka

English tourist mugged in Gisborne

Chilean tourist punched, robbed in Nelson

A group of students that were beaten and robbed whilst on a treasure hunt at the Hundertwasser toilets in Kawakawa, Northland

A series of random, unprovoked attacks in Queenstown

Previous robbery of British tourists at Kerosene Creek

Tourists robbed at Kerosene Creek

Three French tourists beaten and robbed in their campervan in Mangamuka, Northland – police have yet to resolve this crime

A family of Swiss tourists that were assaulted and racially abused in Kaitaia, Northland

Anke Kuballa and Marc Busch from Germany who were robbed in Whangarei, Northland

A family of five robbed at the roadside whilst camping in their van at Oturere Stream, 25km south of Turangi

Two German tourists attacked in Paihia, Northland

Two American tourists were robbed at Shipwreck Bay in Northland whilst sandboarding

Asian woman, (probably Japanese) age 22, raped in her room by 2 teenagers in a home invasion in Opotiki, Northland

Three Chinese tourists attacked and robbed at Te paki, 90 Mile Beach, Northland, by two men they’d stopped to help

French tourist Anthony Cressend, beaten and robbed at campsite in Ahipara, Northland

Two Australian tourists robbed at knifepoint for their holiday money in Te Puke, SE of Tauranga.

Japanese tourist age 23 (female) kidnapped, robbed and assaulted in Rotorua by four men

French tourist (male) raped at gunpoint near Opotiki,

American peace corp twins Adam and Alex Rahmlow, 21 were robbed of all their possessions by a man they tried to help in Amberley, Christchurch.

Dutch couple raped and robbed on a campsite in Tuatapere, NW of Invercargill, whilst on their honeymoon. (Dutch govt. issued a travel warning about NZ)

Two Koreans were attacked and robbed of their possession which included a laptop computer by a man claiming to be a gang member in Blenheim.

British tourist worker sexually assaulted near Hururu Falls, Northland when she was dragged off a walking track.

Canadian tourist Jeremie Kawerninski, kidnapped, assaulted and robbed in Lower Hutt, Wellington

Dutch couple robbed and sexually attacked Haruru Falls, Northland whilst on honeymoon.

Two British women robbed and raped in their campervan at Tokomaru Bay, north of Gisborne.

Japanese tourist subjected to a prolonged and brutal sex attack in a communal area of a backpacker’s hostel in Turangi, Taupo.

Scottish woman Karen Aim brutally murdered by a youth in Taupo.

German woman Birgit Brauer murdered near New Plymouth.

Korean man Jae Hyeon Kim decapitated with a spade by white supremacist.

Japanese tourist robbed at gunpoint in Oamaru.

Irish cycle tourist Paul Mack bashed, robbed and urinated on throughout his NZ tour.

6 English and Danish tourists attacked and stabbed in Cashel Mall, Christchurch for having “foreign accents.”

Irish man Robby O’Brien beaten up in Westport.

Russian couple Denis Khotchenko and Lera Nesterova beaten and robbed in Milford, Auckland

English woman knifed and sexually assaulted in a toilet block at an A1 motor camp in Kaikoura

American campers Patrick Dykstra and Kelsey McGinley beaten and robbed at Whangarei Falls, Northland.

Australian tourist sexually assaulted on a street in broad daylight in Nelson.

Australian tourist subjected to a sex attack by Maia Crawford Rongonui whilst walking home to a backpackers in Christchurch.

Canadian tourist left with a fractured skull outside Silver Fern backpackers in Taupo.

Dutch tourist beaten and robbed at Lake Rotorua.

British man Paul Speakman and his young son beaten and robbed in a campervan at Athenree Gorge, Katikati.

Chinese woman attacked for speaking Chinese on a train approaching Petone.

Scottish visitor Stuart Martin who was left in a coma and with a boot print on his face after a street bashing in Taradale, Christchurch.