If you’re female and thinking about emigrating to, or studying in, Dunedin you may want to give it a miss. Dunedin is rapidly overtaking Auckland as New Zealand’s most unsafe place for women.
Yesterday we wrote about how many New Zealand towns were blighted by violent crime, and mentioned Dunedin specifically.
Today we’re writing about an abduction in Dunedin, which happened during the day in Forth Street, in the northern part of the town and within a few streets of the University of Otago campus, and within metres of Otago polytechnic.
The proximity to the two colleges, or the young woman’s student status, won’t be something you’ll read about in New Zealand press reports – such things are damaging to the lucrative overseas student market and students are the town’s lifeblood.
Fortunately, the 18 year old young woman was able to fight her way out of her abductors’ station waggon after she was grabbed in ‘broad daylight’
Police have appealed for the public’s help to solve the attempted abduction, which unfolded in Dunedin, about 4.25pm on Saturday. Detective Sergeant Neil Lowden said the teenager reported that she was walking on Forth St, North Dunedin, when she was grabbed by a back seat passenger of a parked car.
“She’s described the driver as trying to push her from behind into the vehicle while the rear seat passenger has been trying to pull her in,” Lowden said. “She’s kicked backwards and connected with the driver … and hurt him because he’s backed off.”
The woman then freed herself from the grasp of the back seat passenger, who was holding her wrist, and ran to safety, Lowden said. The car was described as a 1990s-type station wagon in a dirty condition with black roof racks… read more
Dunedin’s dark side – sexual violence against women
Dunedin has something for a reputation for sexual violence against women. Read Two More Women Attacked in Dunedin, Violence Against Women Reaching Crisis Point in NZ and Dunedin Harbouring a Culture of Rape: Female Jogger Raped and Hog Tied to find out why.
Meanwhile, in south Dunedin the local people are getting tired of waiting for their community police station to be reopened. It was closed 11 months ago after a flood damaged its ground floor. Is it any wonder that crime is getting out of hand?
It [the station] was already diminished as a service for the community … [but] we could go in there and we could report crimes,” Dunedin South MP Clare Curran said. “There’s nowhere now. It’s deeply concerning that one of our most densely populated communities … is not getting that police support.”
“There are around 10,000 people living in the wider South Dunedin area. [This is] a sizeable area that needs an on-the-ground, functioning police station. Community policing is vital,” she said… source
Dunedin’s mean streets
Streets around the Octagon in Dunedin are up there with the most violent crime hot spots in New Zealand.
Making it into Statistics NZ’s recently published ‘list of violent crime in towns with more than 30,000 people’ is the area around the Octagon, which accounted for 261 violent assaults, sex assaults or robberies last year. Among the violent crime in the area was the sex attack of a woman in Frederick Street, the assault of two police officers, a sexual assault near the Octagon, a policewoman punched in the face, and last week a man stabbed in the neck.
Hospitality New Zealand Otago branch president Mark Scully said he was shocked by the statistics but the area represented all of Dunedin as that was where everybody congregated to socialise. “I’m surprised and horrified by those numbers,” Mr Scully said.
Not as shocked and surprised as the victims are Mr Scully
St John Coastal Otago area manager Doug Third said his staff dealt with assaults “a lot” around the city and the figures did not surprise him. Staff workload in the Octagon area, especially on weekends, was “quite high” and was mostly alcohol-related, he said.
The most victim reports for assaults, sexual assaults and robberies was Auckland central west 550. Nationally, 24,035 public place assaults, sexual assaults and robberies were recorded by police in 2015.