Tourists Continue To Be Targets For Criminals In New Zealand

Now that the rugby world cup is safely out of the way we’re starting to more coverage of serious crimes against tourists in New Zealand again.

A reader has sent us a link to another spate of violent robberies in the small Northland town of Kerikeri. In the first incident a  39-year-old Swedish man was clubbed over the head by a ‘group’ of young teens and robbed.

In the second assault a  20-year-old German woman, walking to the Top Ten Holiday park was grabbed by the face and punched by a woman and woman who then stole her belongings.

If you’re headed for Kerikeri or the “lawless north” and concerned for your personal safety you can read more about the assaults here

Scottish tourist Karen Aim murdered in Taupo, NZ

And in Taupo, where an inquest was held this week for murdered Scottish tourist Karen Aim, an American woman has been sexually assaulted whilst on a walking track

“Taupo police Detective Sergeant Tony Manunui said the 37-year-old woman was walking on a track between Huka Falls and Spa Spark when a man, described as Polynesian or Maori – assaulted her…” more here

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Taupo, Safe International Community

Last year we wrote about how Taupo was trying to push itself towards becoming a World Health Organisation “Safe International Community”  (read Korean Tourist Beaten And Robbed In Taupo, An International Safe Community?)  and expressed our concern that tourists may be lulled into a false sense of security if they believed the hype around the project, saying

We sincerely hope that tourists, who are already the target of violence and robberies in NZ because of their perceived vulnerability and relative wealth, aren’t suckered in to believing they can be more relaxed with their personal security. Using the “Safe International Community” badge as a marketing tool may be counterproductive because it may make tourists easier targets. It’s hardly going to reduce the crime figures or improve the country’s image abroad if that happens.

The small tourist town was shoved under the international spotlight when British visitor Karen Aim was clubbed to death and interfered with whilst walking home one night. Her attacker was a 14 year old youth who was later convicted of murder and sentenced to life with a non-parole period of 12.5 years.  Prominent British composer and Master of the Queen’s Music, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, wrote a composition in Karen’s memory after being “moved and shocked” by her death…” more here

We often write about crimes against tourists in New Zealand and these incidents re-enforce the fact that visitors to New Zealand are being specifically targetted by local criminals and must take every precaution to keep themselves safe.

Karen Aim inquest:  “Parental supervision failed teen basher”

(Dominion Post 29/11/2011)

“Lack of parental supervision is one of the main factors in violent youth offending, Rotorua coroner Wallace Bain has said at an inquest.

Dr Bain was commenting at the inquest of the death of Scottish tourist Karen Aim in January 2008, in Taupo Coroners Court today.

Ms Aim, 27, was severely bashed by a teenager near her Taupo flat as she walked home after socialising with friends.

She suffered serious brain injuries and died in Taupo Hospital.

A year later Jache Broughton, 14, of Taupo, pleaded guilty to her murder and was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum non-parole period of 12 years…” more

Our thoughts and deepest condolences are againwith the family and friends of Karen Aim this week. They’re still searching for answers as to why their loved one was cruelly taken from them.