Concern police did not respond to gunshots

Kelvin Lloyd
Kelvin Lloyd
A week after two Dunedin children were shot dead, a Waipori resident is concerned Dunedin police did not respond to a 111 call following dozens of .22-calibre rifle shots in a residential area, early yesterday morning.

Dunedin police have defended the ''balancing act'' and subsequent decision not to respond saying no spare Dunedin staff were available, on what was a busy morning, and unusually, no Mosgiel police were on roster.

Waipori resident of three years Richard Mathias said he was woken about 2.45am yesterday to .22 calibre shots in Waipori Falls Rd, and later one shotgun blast.

The .22 shot out two street lamps and a fence was peppered by the shotgun blast.

Mr Mathias later collected 45 .22 calibre casings and photographed the fence and other damage.

He called 111 about 2.45am and 41 minutes later was contacted by Dunedin police and told his was the only 111 call, and that police did not have a car to dispatch.

''Really, if this was Outram [a larger township] it would have have been an AOS [armed offenders squad] callout, especially after events in Dunedin recently,'' he said of last week's killing of Ellen (6) and Bradley (9) Livingstone by their father Edward Livingstone, in St Leonards, with a firearm.

While he understood the likelihood of Dunedin police being busy at 2.45am on a Sunday morning in the city, Mr Mathias believed a firearms incident merited a response, and contacted the ODT with his concerns yesterday.

Senior Sergeant Kelvin Lloyd, of Dunedin, when contacted, verified the call times, the 111 being made at 2.47am, and said the duty sergeant had to decide on the ''balancing act'', of whether there were gains to be achieved from attending the incident, and collecting evidence.

''He [Mr Mathias] did a great job, advising on what he had seen ... reported four to five shots, but didn't have a description of a vehicle or offender,'' Snr Sgt Lloyd said.

It was ''rare'' Mosgiel did not have an officer and vehicle on roster, which ''would have been sent immediately'', while city police ''only have a finite amount of staff and it was a busy night in town''.

''It's the judgement call of the supervisor at the time, especially at that distance and [staff] availability ... or the ability to apprehend an offender,'' Snr Sgt Lloyd said.

Mr Mathias said the shots went on for about 10 minutes and several ricocheted around his house, before ''several people'', including one female, drove off, in what may have been a Toyota Hilux. He then went outside, but was unable to get a car registration.

''It was so surreal there was no response. It was a very serious incident,'' Mr Mathias said.

He said had people been out walking, or there been families camping, the bullets could have gone astray in the darkness, including into unseen, darkened homes along the road.

''How do I get a response, when I say they are now shooting [directly] at my home?'' Mr Mathias asked. He said a neighbour, without a telephone, thought his vehicle and house were being shot at.

Ideal for gang pad

Perhaps the Bandidos got it wrong moving into central Dunedin. Waipori is the ideal place to be away from the scrutiny of the police. Even shootings are not a priority.

Lack of police in the city

I was kind of hoping there would be more than two police on duty in the city, or that there would at least be a couple spare, or as others have said that Dunedin Police could go immediately while an off-duty officer is awoken from his slumber to cover them. Simply saying we can't do anything because it's too far away is not good enough to me.

How many shots are enough?

Its Me possibly demonstrates a lack of understanding of the Waipori Village area. The village is remote. From Berwick it is approximately 16km up a winding narrow dirt road. Other roads in include a faster, more open road from Lawrence that is about 30km away or via SH 87 and Mahinerangi. The village was created to house staff who operated the power stations in the river gorge. About twenty years ago those stations were converted to remote operation and staff were no longer needed to be housed at Waipori. The houses were sold off. Most are now weekend cottages for people who like "getting away from it". There are few permanent residents. There is no cellphone coverage and many of the cottages have no landline telephone.
The police and Its Me have put much significance on the fact that "only" one call was made. In the circumstances as I have just outlined them that is irrelevant. There were probably other concerned people who had no means of contacting police.
No-one should be shooting in the area of the village. There is no farm land or paddocks for rabbit shooting. It is dense bush right down to the village. If someone was pig hunting they should not have been doing it so close to the village that bullets were "richochetting around houses". Even if this was "just" an irresponsible hunter the police should have responded. Is it now police policy that they only respond to a 111 call about unexplained gun shots if there is more than one call? That seems to be their excuse in this case.
If police resources are stretched then off-duty officers are called in. Simple. They have a duty to protect us. They failed in this case. I hope this incident is not allowed to be brushed under the carpet.

Police time is always 30-50% alcohol related

Police time is always 30-50% alcohol related depending on the time of day or night. Have a guess what is happening at this time in Dunedin?

Police non response to 111

It must be pretty drastic for Police to be tied up with more pressing cases than multiple gunshots at 2.45 am on a Sunday morning. What could it be that causes this "balancing act"? Watching the Australian open or more likely a callout to booze triggered violence. Don't complain ,look into the real issues as to why alcohol is the number 1 most harmful drug and lobby MPs for tougher alcohol laws.  First, ask yourself why Police are wasting their time every Saturday and Sunday morning and why the emergency departments are wasting nearly a third of their time on this drug. Ask yourself,when I need Police and Emegency medical help will they be clogged up by binge boozers? Alcohol indirectly causes emense harm to others. Still confused or in denial. Try doing some research or try this link

Listen (audio) to Otago's Prof. Jennie Connor  (Preventive and Social Medicine at Dunedin School of Medicine)


Shots fired

While news reported in the ODT regularly surprises me, annoys me or amuses me it is rare for something to anger me. But this does. I don't think I even need to explain why as it should be obvious. Multiple shots fired at a house in a remote area. No-one knows what is happening. Obviously more than one weapon involved. And the police response? "We're not sending anyone because no-one is on duty in Mosgiel and we're busy in Dunedin". (Officers from Milton or Lawrence could just as easily have been despatched to this incident). At the very least a couple of armed officers should have been sent immediately with AOS on standby. I hope the IPCA investigates this incident.  


Shots fired at Waipori

Hold the phone Gregglles. Waipori is not that close by and if no other calls were made about shots fired why would you leave the city short on police when they are dealling with all the disorder that happens in a city. How would you feel if you needed Police in the city when they were all at Waipori investigating a hunter who was shooting a rabbit? Sounds like the cops had their hands full as it was. Think about it.

Mosgiel Police...Missing in Action?

Great news if you are a budding criminal in the Mosgiel/Taieri area. You now have a 10-15 minute headstart before the Police arrive on scene. 

It simply defies belief that for a population of approx 10 thousand, we are left with no Police force for certain periods of time.

Most likely another cost saving exercise by our masters in Wellington. Perhaps John Key could spare one of his protection squad to help out?


Lucky .....

It could of been worse .... the Police could of sent a Taxi!


Unusually there were no police on duty at Mosgiel! Said so casually, like it was just happanstance, and not a critical error in workforce planning.

It was a busy night! What were the rest of the police doing that every other job was so important that they couldn't attend a shooting?

Why can the police not just admit they got it wrong. Listening to their excuses has become higly tiresome. 

Close gunfire

Richard Mathias and his neighbour deserve rather more than this 'non-reaction' by local police. In the case of close gunfire in the middle of the night members of the public can't be expected to know what they're dealing with and at what risk to their own or others' safety. It should only take one 111 call to get help on the way to an affected neighbourhood or district. If rostered staff are unavailable, off-duty police can be brought in to investigate and or, by assessment, AOS put on standby - no matter what the duty sergeant thought to categorise this incident as yesterday. Not reassuring.

ODT/directory - Local Businesses

CompanyLocationBusiness Type
Moonlight Stables Horse TrekkingQueenstownRecreational Activities
St JohnDunedinEmergency Services
Clutha MeatsBalcluthaButchers
Tussocks Of WanakaWanakaHomeware