Walking alone at night not wise

Walking alone in Auckland city at night is not wise, says area commander Matthew Srhoj.
Peter Rees

Walking alone in Auckland city at night is not wise, says area commander Matthew Srhoj.

Auckland's city centre is not especially dangerous, but police say walking alone at night is not advisable.

Auckland central police area commander Matthew Srhoj said violent crimes are no more likely to happen in Auckland city than in many other cities around New Zealand or the world.

"It's not really a good idea to walk anywhere on your own at night," Srhoj said.

Trust your instincts to avoid danger in Auckland city at night, says police area commander Matthew Srhoj.
Peter Rees

Trust your instincts to avoid danger in Auckland city at night, says police area commander Matthew Srhoj.

"If you do, make sure you're very aware of your surroundings and make sure you don't put yourself in awkward situations.

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"It always better to be in a group and you need to stay with the group and look after each other."

Homeless people and beggars don't generally pose a threat to passers by, Srhoj said.

"Some of them are substance abusers and generally the issues occur around that.

"If you are approaching someone and their behaviour is unusual or erratic, try to avoid that person." 

In the year from August 2016 to July 2017, 583 common assaults occurred in the Auckland central business district from downtown to Karangahape Road and from Wynyard Quarter to Vector Arena.

In the city centre in the past year, there were 111 serious assaults resulting in injury, 214 serious assaults without injury, 37 aggravated sexual assaults, 33 non aggravated sexual assaults, 119 aggravated robberies, and six abductions or attempted abductions.

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The early hours of the morning after Friday and Saturday nights tend to be particularly troublesome and summer can be worse than winter.

Karangahape Road had been a hot spot, but has settled down recently, while more assaults are occurring in the backs streets around Elliott Street and Galway Street, Srhoj said.

Police regularly patrol the night club districts to try to stop assaults or fights breaking out.

While groups often get into alcohol fuelled brawls, occasionally individuals become victims of random attacks.

Frequently, problems start when people become intoxicated, so staying reasonably sober is wise, he said.

"Most violent crime in the city is alcohol related - people get drunk and become offenders or they might end up being the victims as well."

People might miss the last ferry or train and find themselves in a vulnerable situation if they don't have their wits about them.

"A lot of issues occur because people get intoxicated and can lose sight of what's going on around them, perhaps put themselves in situations they normally wouldn't, so it's really important the people with them look after them."

Srhoj said it is safer to walk in well-lit areas where more people are around.

"Listen to your instincts and if you feel uncomfortable, take a different path, a different route, or consider a taxi," he said.

 - Stuff

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