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Thursday, 25 April 2019 11:52 am

Prevention Is key for Te Aro to change crime stats say locals

te aro map

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Wellington’s Inner City Association wants more CCTV cameras and volunteers to monitor them and prevent crime in the CBD.

Wellington’s inner-city suburb Te Aro has more than four times the national average of assaults, sexual assaults and robberies in public places according to Statistics New Zealand.

Sarah Webb, a committee member of the Inner City Association, says community action is required for change.

“We need to be proactive as a community, it’s not just up to the police,” she says.

The inner city association helps the police by volunteering to monitor the CCTV cameras throughout Te Aro.

Webb says the association, which has 400-plus members, believes in being proactive when it comes to crime, but the association always needs more help looking after the community.

“CCTV cameras are brought by the council and given to the police but volunteers monitor them. It’s not just up to the police it’s the community’s responsibility.”

She believes there’s still more areas that aren’t being covered by CCTV that should be.

“Nothing good happens on the street after 3am,” she says.

Webb says everyone from outer Wellington comes to Te Aro, which makes it easier to monitor their safety.

“Then they go home and were left with the statistics,” she says.

Te Aro had 447 “victimisations” in the 2015 calendar year analysis of public place assaults, sexual assaults, and robberies in 2015, according to the monthly recorded crime offender statistics.

Victimisations is the term used by Statistics New Zealand to describe “an offence committed against a person”.

Only 10 percent of areas have attack rates more than twice the national average rate.

The report states the highest attack counts by area occurs in central business districts of main urban areas.

In February this year 81 attacks in wellington were reported to the Wellington Police Station compared to 64 in the same month last year.

Covering from Kent Terrace to Lambton Quay and south to Mt Cook, the Te Aro area covers the Wellington nightlife and student hostels.

Two students spoken to by NewsWire were shocked by the statistics.

Brandon Croton of 222 hall of residence in Willis said: “I don’t want to live in Te Aro anymore.”

Hannah Comans (19) from Massey University says she doesn’t believe the suburb is safe after hearing the statistics but did feel under that much threat.

Comans has witnessed an assault on Willis Street.

“We heard a scream and a girl yelling at a guy, we asked her if she was ok and walked her to her friends.”

Overall New Zealand had 24,035 public assaults, sexual assaults, and robberies in 2015.

The national average of public attacks and robberies in 2015 is about 52 per 10,000 people.

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