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Clean, green but not safe

Last updated 10:49 03/07/2008

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Asians feel they have been misled into thinking New Zealand is a safe place to live, says an anti-crime group.

"We feel we have been misled by the Immigration Department. We are told New Zealand is clean, green and safe," group supervisor Peter Low says.

"Clean and green – fine, but not safe."

The Asian anti-crime group was formed three months ago in response to a spate of crimes against Asians.

It aims to network with people who need urgent help and to share advice on personal safety and self-defence.

"Crime is everywhere and rapidly growing among the Chinese community," says Mr Low, who came to New Zealand 21 years ago from Singapore.

The Asian anti-crime group aims to be a voice for demanding tougher sentencing.

A protest is being organised in Queen St for October and there will be a rally in Botany tomorrow.

"We have had strong feedback that yes, it is time to protest," the Pakuranga resident says.

He says it is hoped the rally will attract people of all ethnicities.

The rally starts at Botany Downs Secondary College at 11am and marches through to The Hub on the corner of Ti Rakau Drive and Ti Irirangi Drive.

The rally’s message is a call for tougher sentencing, zero crime tolerance, victims’ rights and a life term must mean life.

"We can’t wait anymore, we don’t want to see more Asians killed," says Mr Low.

He says the government has been ineffective and has tried to shift the attention to alcohol as the source of the problem.

"Asians are getting very angry and want to work with police to solve the crisis," he says.

A phone helpline will be set up because he says the need for one in Asian languages is not met by any government programme.

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- Eastern Courier

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