Palmerston North’s Crime Problem – Police Hunt Another Armed Offender and yet Police Stations Could Still be Closed


Albert Street dairy

Albert Street Dairy, the latest corner store to be held up in Palmerston North

Palmerston North’s crime problem hit the news again yesterday. If you’re a migrant considering relocating to Palmerston North (population 78,800) you may wish to look for somewhere safer.

Police are hunting for a man who tried to hold up the Albert Street dairy at knife point just after 10am.

The offender used a kitchen knife to rob the corner store. Police have described him as being between 20 – 30 years old, wearing grey trackpants and a black long sleeved top. He put a mask over his face before entering the shop. His victims managed to close an internal door against him  and call the police.

The Albert Street dairy is the latest in a succession of dairy armed robberies in Palmerston North. We don’t keep track of all of them but are aware that when the Palmy crims strike they use some pretty vicious weapons, and they’re prepared to use them. For instance,

On  9 August There was an aggravated robbery at the Mobil service station, in which an attendant received “vicious” stab wounds to his head, face and arms. The victim was taken to Palmerston North hospital for treatment. The attack was the latest in a recent crime spree targeting businesses from Wellington to Levin.

Summerhays Superette was held up by two men who threatened the store owner, Manhar Patel, and a female customer with a gun.

The Turitea Dairy was robbed by a ‘group’ of four men armed with a claw hammer, large knife and axe in April 2014. The store had been held up before.

But the armed robberies and gun crime are as nothing compared to some of the other crimes the city is infamous for.

Rape capital of New Zealand?

We’ve written about Palmerston North’s crime problems many times and of how the town’s Wikipedia page was censored to remove all mention of crime. But, in addition to the town’s police stations getting shot up and armed robberies, the town has something of a reputation for sex attacks.

In April of this year highlighted how Palmerston North was not a safe city, especially for women. Previously, we exposed the uncomfortable fact that there was at least one sex assault in Palmerson North every week, asking if that qualified the town as the rape capital of New Zealand…

The police must be at their wits end, it’s hard to manage on the limited resources from a government that is keen to artificially depress recorded crime figures and is closing police stations (Police shut 30 stations in effort to combat budget cuts). Palmerston North police have therefore resorted to public appeals to catch the perpetrators of the sex crimes that have been plaguing the town.

Last week’s edition of the Manawatu Standard makes it sound like Palmerston North’s sex crimes are a recent problem.

A series of sexual assaults committed by “strangers” has thrown sexual assault into the spotlight as Palmerston North police turn to the public for help to find the culprits. Six sexual assaults were committed in the city between October 2014 and March 2015, but there has been just one arrest for two of the offences.

In the most recent case, an 18-year-old woman left an inner-city bar shortly before 3am on March 14. She was befriended by a man, taken to George St and sexually attacked. A week earlier, a woman in her late 20s was taken to a park and sexually assaulted by two men who had offered to give her a lift home in the early hours of March 7. Both cases are still under investigation, but no arrests have been made.

Between October and January, four women aged in their late-teens and 20s, were sexually assaulted in the early hours of the morning, while asleep in their homessource

The Abuse and Rape Crisis Support Manager told the Manawatu Standard his organisation was currently helping between 70-100 victims of sexual assaultread on

As with many of New Zealand’s small towns, its beginning to look like the police are losing the war on crime in Palmerston North. That may be something you should bear in mind if you’re moving to New Zealand because you’ve heard how little crime there is. Don’t fall for the hype.

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Ashhurst residents fear for the future of their police stationCentral district police are currently working through a ‘realignment process’ that residents are concerned could result in the withdrawal of 2 permanently stationed police officers in Ashhurst.

Ashhurst is approximately 15 km (9 miles) north east of Palmerston North. A community meeting was organised for residents to voice their concerns, but the Manawatu area commander was a no-show…

About 80 Ashhurst residents attended a community meeting on Wednesday night to voice their concerns to new Manawatu area commander Inspector Sarah Stewart.

But Stewart sent her apologies on Tuesday night, as she was unable to attend… read more here

All posts tagged Palmerston North and Small Town New Zealand