Be wary on streets - police

Inspector Alastair Dickie
Inspector Alastair Dickie
Serious assaults are on the rise in Dunedin and police say the city is no longer as safe after dark as it once was.

In 2010, 25 people were grievously assaulted, 118 were seriously assaulted and 93 people reported minor assaults in public places between Frederick St, the Oval, Anzac Ave and Belleknowes - a total of 236.

Dunedin police intelligence statistics showed there had been minimal change in the number of assaults in the city during the past three years.

However, Inspector Alastair Dickie said Dunedin police were seeing an increase in serious and grievous injuries from these assaults, and it was a concerning trend.

Grievous assaults were the most serious of the three categories, and were ones in which victims received life-threatening injuries.

They attracted the more serious charges such as wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, injuring with intent and assault with a weapon.

If the victim of a grievous assault died from their injuries, the assailant could be charged with manslaughter.

Serious assaults were those which caused serious injury but were not life threatening, and minor assaults were people who had been victims of pushing, shoving or slapping.

Insp Dickie said the increase in serious and grievous assaults meant Dunedin could not lay claim to being the safe haven it had been in the past.

"Dunedin is like any other city now - you really have to be on guard when you go out at night.

"People are under the influence of alcohol and drugs, and they're not thinking rationally. Some go out there just for a fight, and sometimes these people are sober.

"If you see a group of people acting suspiciously, you should try to avoid them. Don't attract attention to yourself. Cross the street if you have to."

 

- john.lewis@odt.co.nz

 

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