Spate of attacks on international students concern police

Left, One victim was left with a deep cut under her eye after an attack in Albert Park. Right,  CCTV footage shows the offenders in an attack near Unitec in Mt Albert.
Left, One victim was left with a deep cut under her eye after an attack in Albert Park. Right, CCTV footage shows the offenders in an attack near Unitec in Mt Albert.

Auckland City Police have expressed concern about a number of recent aggravated robberies involving International students in the city and say every effort is being made to bring the offenders to justice - eight arrests have already being made in the last week.

Four incidents have been reported to Police in the last week, arrests have been made in two of these cases and Police are continuing to hunt for offenders in the other two with arrests likely this week.

One of the recent incidents relate to an attack on a student in Oakley Creek on Thursday evening.

Police have obtained CCTV footage of the alleged offender and would like to hear from anyone who may know the people pictured in the attached images.

In the most recent incident, on Monday evening, four youths were arrested after trying to steal a handbag from a young woman who was walking along Khyber Pass near the corner of Broadway in Newmarket.

The young woman was pushed to the ground during the incident and the offenders were caught after being scared off by a passerby. The youths aged 12-14 are being dealt with by Youth Aid.

Police are seeking witnesses to one attack in Albert Park on Tuesday evening, where two young women were attacked and robbed.

Police would like anyone who saw this incident to call them urgently.

Inspector Joe Tipene, the Officer in Charge of MPES (Maori, Pacific and Ethnic Services), Auckland City District said police take any incidence of aggravated robbery or assault very seriously and are concerned by attacks of this nature.

"We would like to reassure the student community that there is no evidence to suggest that any of the recent incidents were linked or that there had been any specific increase in such incidents."

He said police are also very grateful to have such a good relationship with the International student community in Auckland and hold regular meetings with both old and new students to share crime prevention advice and for students to ask any questions they have of Police.

"We would be very happy to hold another forum for students to help offer further reassurances around these recent incidents,: he said.

Inspector Tipene said Auckland is an incredibly safe city and a great place to live, work and study.

"Like all international cities, there are opportunist offenders who will take advantage of people who sometimes inadvertently put themselves in a vulnerable positions.

"We would always recommend that people walk in well-lit streets at night and, where possible, stay with other people.

"It is also advisable not to have your personal items on display, this includes smart phones and other communication devices."

He advised people to be aware of their surroundings at all times and avoid any area which does not feel safe and always call the Police if you feel threatened or concerned for your safety.

- NZME.

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