Fears prompt 'welcome' action at Ranui station

Residents of Ranui do not feel safe at their train station anymore, with several reports of assault and intimidation at ...
DANIELLE CLENT/FAIRFAX NZ

Residents of Ranui do not feel safe at their train station anymore, with several reports of assault and intimidation at the platform.

A group of Ranui residents rallied together to make a train platform where they "no longer felt safe" a welcoming space.

The move was triggered by a social media posting by a Ranui resident on June 12 about her husband being assaulted by three "hood rats" at Ranui's train station.

She said they had blocked her husband's exit from the train, and everyone trying to get off.

To get their station back, Ranui residents have rallied together to welcome passengers on the platform at 6pm this week.
DANIELLE CLENT/FAIRFAX NZ

To get their station back, Ranui residents have rallied together to welcome passengers on the platform at 6pm this week.

"I'm now worried for my husband's safety," the post said.

"Ranui Station isn't a nice place at the best of times and at night, it is even worse."

Auckland Transport spokesman Mark Hannan said seven incidents of assault and harassment had been reported at Ranui station this year.

In 2017 six assaults and one claim of harassment had been recorded - with two of the assaults on AT staff and contractors. 

In 2016 15 incidents were reported. 

Last year there were four assaults on AT security staff and train managers, eight assaults on members of the public, two instances of verbal abuse and harassment towards staff and one reported instance of abuse/harassment towards members of the public, Hannan said.

Last February, AT placed a security guard on duty from early afternoon to the end of the last service every night.

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"AT works closely with Waitemata Police District Community Policing to follow up on anti-social and criminal behaviour incidents, Police have increased patrols and focus attention on the station when large groups gather in the area," Hannan said. 

"We have well sign posted emergency help points (EHP's) on both platforms and multiple CCTV cameras which are monitored 24 hours a day. We also upgraded lighting at the station last year."

However, the extra measures had not made all residents feel safe.

The social media post on June 12 generated a lot of comments, among them that Ranui was not "the nicest train station".

One social media user said she purposely catches the train from Sturges Rd because "Ranui station creeps me [out] and and I've lived in Ranui for years".

Keri Skelling, who's lived in Ranui for 15 years, said problems at the station had gotten worse.

"Most of the youth, I find, don't live in the area as I haven't seen them about," Skelling said.

A social media post went up the next day on June 13, to "welcome people home off the train and show support to each other".

"I just want old ladies (and everyone) to feel welcome and safe coming home," the post said.

It was a safety in numbers plan, until a more permanent solution was resolved, it said.

About 14 people turned up.

Charlotte O'Rourke, 33, from Swanson said she wanted to support a "frustrated" Ranui community.

"I hope something more is done to ensure people in our community feel safer using public transport," O'Rourke said. 

The group have planned more meet-ups and are calling people to join them at 6pm every night at the Ranui Train Station. 

 - Stuff

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