Pupils need escorts in rape hotspot
A dangeous and dark Mangere walkway where two girls under 13 have been raped urgently needs to be made safer, Auckland Council's transport committee has been told.
The walkway, which runs between the Mangere train station and the town centre, is so dangerous local school pupils have escorts to walk down it.
The Mangere-Otahuhu Local Board wants Auckland Transport to commit to improving safety lights on the Windrush Cl and Waddon Pl road connection.
According to some board members, the pathway has flown under the radar of the Auckland Council since its amalgamation and slipped on to Auckland Transport's priority list.
"We're not talking about millions of dollars," board member Carrol Elliott said at the Transport Committee meeting yesterday.
"The eight-year-old raped there was not just harassed. Originally police thought it was just indecent assault, but when they looked closer, they found it wasn't."
Elliott claimed Nga Iwi Primary School, which is nearby, has escorts to walk students home after school.
"They won't let them walk home alone - and that's during the day," she said.
"Down that narrow road, attackers are hard to catch because they can just hop over the fence. They're also hard to run away from."
Councillor George Wood said leaving the road untouched was contradictory to the Auckland Council's plan to make public transport a good option for everyone.
"I've been to look at it myself, and it's scary," he said.
"We're telling people to take public transport... yet we're asking people to traverse through this."
The committee agreed it would urge Auckland Transport to look at putting lights over the link by 2013/14, instead of the proposed deadline of 2016.