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Christchurch Police Fail To Protect And Serve

Christchurch Police Fail To Protect And Serve

With shades of the case of Iraena Asher - the Auckland student who went missing in Piha after ringing the police in a distressed state only to be sent a taxi - the following story recounts a recent example of police failure to respond to an emergency call. In this case the Christchurch Police appear to have been far more concerned with the pursuit of traffic offenders than criminal thugs whose whereabouts was known. Scoop's George McLellan recounts the story of what happened to a couple of his friends earlier this month.


On Friday the 5th of June at about 11:30pm two nineteen year-old engineering students of the University of Canterbury were cycling through the busy suburb of Riccarton on their way to a friend's house on Riccarton Road.

The two bikers were attacked by a small group of unidentified criminals who tackled the cyclists and proceeded to steal the bikes that they were riding.

As a result of this robbery the victims did what anybody would do, they called the Christchurch Police stating that they had been beaten up and mugged. They told the police in detail where the assault / robbery had taken place, that it was un-provoked, and also that they had seen where the criminals had retreated to; just down the road.

In response to this call the 111 operator told the victims that a police car was on its way and to wait. Half an hour passed. During this period at least two police cars drove past the crime scene in pursuit of 'boy racers'.

The victims waited, another half an hour passed and still nothing. They once again called the police to ask what was happening. The police claimed that the earlier call had not been taken, and went on to imply that they were too busy to deal with the situation and that they would send an officer to the victims house the following day.

Does this means that the Christchurch Police prioritise the pursuit of mere traffic offenders over the pursuit of 'real criminals', criminals who have displayed a willingness to physically attack people, and on top of all of this, criminals whose whereabouts is known?

One hour after the first call to the 'police' was made, the victims decided that the only way to retrieve their property was to do so by themselves. They went to the address where they had seen the attackers take their bikes, and after a struggle which left them with smashed glasses, cut hands and bloody noses, managed to recover one of their two bikes.

Perhaps if the police had arrived when they were first informed of the violent attack both bicycles could have been recovered and nobody would have been injured.

It appears that if you are a student in Christchurch, when you are attacked by violent thugs the only effective thing to do is take the law in to ones own hands.


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