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Year Book : Year Book 2010
EDITORS’ CHOICE border mail SATURDAY, MARCH 14, 2009 We spoke to a local facial surgeon, the man with the job of putting people back together after they’ve been bashed. From his depressingly vast collection of violence-related x-rays, we used six unnamed local victims. We think the sparse words and frightening pictures combined to make a powerful statement but we had lengthy discussions in the newsroom that afternoon whether it was just too shocking. Obviously, we decided to run “After a horrific assault which left a man bloodied and broken in the street and later, fighting for his life in hospital, the Border Mail decided it was time to take a stand against violence in our community. This front page became the start of a campaign to make our streets safer. The words here were sim- ple but we needed something striking visually. EditOR HEATH HARRISON with it. We wanted to shake people up, to make people angry, to get people talking. It was that old case of not caring so much if people hated it or loved it … we just wanted to make sure they couldn’t ignore it.” $1.60 INC GST MALE,26. Jaw smashed by knuckle. These are just some of the faces of the victims of violence in our community. Tragically, the problem is getting worse. We’ve had enough. If you’ve had enough, join our campaign to try to make our streets safe again. The ball started rolling last night with about 500 people turning out to rally for bashing victim Kris Mandeville. ENOUGH MALE,21. MALE,19. Attacked with a fence picket. Right-hand side fractured cheekbone and eye socket. Repeatedly bashed and kicked in Dean Street. Fractured nose, eye socket and cheekbone. REPORTS, PICTURES: 2-3 YOUR COMMENTS: 4-5 SATURDAY FOCUS: 32-33 EDITORIAL: 36 MALE,32. Attempted to break up a fight. Fractured right eye socket, nose, upper jaw, sinus, bilateral fractured lower jaw. MALE,61. Solitary blow to the forehead with a beer glass. Depressed fracture to the skull. Solitary blow to the skull with a beer bottle. Fractured skull and eye socket. Taranaki daily newS Save Our Streets: A Taranaki Daily News special investigation A newlevel of violence T ‘ Vicious assaults are on the rise in NewPlymouth, with gangs of drunken youths roaming the streets and preying on the vulnerable. The attacks have escalated from one-on-one punch-ups to victims being kicked and stomped onwhile they lie on the ground. Over the comingweeks, Taranaki Daily News crime reporter Leighton Keith will take an in-depth look at this rising tide of violence andwhat can be done to contain it. Today he talks to a veteran police officer about the newbreed of thugs and also to the hapless victims of their thuggery. A HIKE in extremely violent attacks in New Plymouth comes as no surprise to Senior Sergeant Selwyn Wansbrough. Mr Wansbrough has clocked up 32 years walking the beat in the city. He says the brutality involved in the attacks is some of the worst he has seen. ‘‘There have always been punch-ups but what is most concerning is the level of the increase, the level of violence, the increase in the grievous kind of assault,’’ he said. ‘‘It just blows me away that people are so prepared to stomp on the heads and limbs of others while they are laying on the ground. It is that level of violence that is so shocking.’’ And his concerns are backed up by the numbers. Grievous assaults jumped by 20.3 per cent for the year ended December 31, despite an overall fall in violent crime of five per cent. And the figures are set to rise even further this year, with investigations into a large number of vicious assaults under way and many teenage offenders appearing before the courts. A culture of binge drinking and easy access to high percentage alcohol often fuelled the attacks and created more victims and offenders. ●There were 83 grievous assaults in the New Plymouth district during 2008, a 20.3 per cent increase on the 69 in 2007. ●An assault is classified as grievous when a weapon is used or the attackers intended to injure the victim. ●Overall, males were responsible for 91.2 per cent of grievous assaults and females 8.8 per cent. ●Males aged between 14 and 20 were responsible for 40.7 per cent of grievous assaults, males aged 21 to 30 26.4 per cent and males aged 31 to 50 16.5 per cent. ‘‘People, far more than ever, are going out to get smashed.’’ Mr Wansbrough said there was a well-established link between alcohol and violence. ‘‘Most victims, as well as offenders, have been drinking. In many cases, the victims are so drunk that they are an easy target, and there are predators who thrive on that situation.’’ Mr Wansbrough said many young offenders had grown up with violence in their homes, on television and in video games. ‘‘There’s a small hard-core percentage that are not well controlled by their parents and have often been bounced around the system.’’ While most teenagers could distinguish between fantasy and reality, a small group did not know where to draw the line. ‘‘So often with violence, you find it is the same few who are involved in large numbers of crimes. City patrol: Constables Kim Cochrane, left, and Andrew Stilton walk the beat in New Plymouth. ‘‘They’ve got significant histor- ies of violence at a young age,’’ he said. While reluctant to point the finger at an underclass, Mr Wansbrough conceded many of today’s violent offenders came from a background of crime. ‘‘In reality, there are differences in socio-economic groups and probably we are more likely to get problems with families where the parents have also been in trouble. Some of the kids I deal with now, I’ve also dealt with their parents.’’ He wanted to see parents taking more responsibility for where their children were and what they were up to. ‘‘Often we are ringing up par- ents to find that there is no response, or that the parents are drunk and can’t come and pick their kids up. ‘‘It’s time some parents It’s time some parents accepted that raising their kids is their job and not ours and they know where their kids are and can do something about it. Wansbrough Photo: ROBERT CHARLES accepted that raising their kids is their job and not ours and they know where their kids are and can do something about it.’’ Mr Wansbrough was con- cerned many attacks were not being reported to police. ‘‘The number that go unreported is significant,’’ he said. ■ Continued Page 3 Attack victims speak out about constant threat By LEIGHTON KEITH email@example.com VICTIMS of violent attacks in New Plymouth say the offenders are often large gangs of mainly Maori youths. Many teenagers say they are constantly harassed, threatened and intimidated by the gangs and some are considering arming themselves for protection. There appears to be no rhyme or reason to the vicious attacks, many of which are going unreported. A 36-year-old New Plymouth man was knocked to the ground listening to music about 9.30pm. ‘‘We just randomly looked behind us and there was a group of about 10 of them.’’ One youth walked over to the passenger window and, after peering in, spat in the woman’s face. The group then surrounded the car and started kicking it. The male got out to try to stop and kicked, stomped on and punched by a gang of five or six youths while walking home along Young St in the early hours of December 21. He received two black eyes, a www.taranakidailynews.co.nz Got a classified? Phone (06) 759 0802 Got a story? Phone (06) 759 0824 A112 m2 $69,909* Caught on camera: CCTV footage shows an attack by a group of thugs in New Plymouth’s CBD. ‘‘What would I tell them? I large gash above his right eye, had a front tooth knocked out, swelling to his entire face and cuts and grazes to the rest of his body. The man did not report the attack to police. ● Puzzles ● Business ● Weekendtelevision didn’t see anything. It all happened so fast and without warning,’’ he said. A young Waitara couple, who would not be named for fear of 2 ● Magazine:Weekend 7 ● Weather 8 ● World A198 m2 $98,093* Photos: SUPPLIED retaliation, say they were set upon by a gang of Maori youths, accompanied by two older men, at East End Beach on March 21. The pair, both aged 21, were sitting in their car ‘‘chilling out’’ them but was attacked. ‘‘One of the young ones started laying into me,’’ he said. ‘‘I was concerned about fighting with him because there was a large group of them.’’ ■ Continued Page 3 9–13 ● Letters, editorial,opinion 14 ● Classifieds start 15,17,18 ● Sport&racing 16 20 23– 27 Weather New Plymouth 18°C Cloudy periods,westerlies Build your new home with us and we will save you money! We pride ourselves in being fl exible in design and materials - and in fi nding the best building solution for each individual client! A1 Homes are the leaders in supplying New Zealand with quality home packages - including Kitset, Transportable, Shell Only and Full Contract options. www.a1homes.co.nz Visit our showhome today! * NOTE: Kitset price only * NOTE: Kitset price only Saturday 1552808AA_3-JS Naki Construction Ltd, 35 Airport Drive, Bell Block Call us on: 06 755 2285 Hawera 16°C Cloudy periods,westerlies —Senior Sergeant Selwyn ’ Our view ODAY’S front page makes for depressing reading, but for this we make no apologies. As a strong regional newspaper, we have a duty to bring tough issues to the fore and the rising tide of street violence is just such an issue. The statistics are shocking. In the space of one year, 83 people were victims of grievous assaults. That’s 14 more than the previous year’s 69. And those are only the ones reported to police. As a community, we have let this happen. Last year local men Wayde Corlett and Simon Plowright organised a march on Devon St to reclaim the streets after a spate of late-night bashings. But one year on, and the situation is worse. Enough is enough. It’s time for action. We own the right to walk at night without fear of being attacked by violent thugs with no interest the community in which they live, let alone a future for themselves. It is clear that the police have their work cut out for them. They can’t be everywhere at once. Nor can it be easy facing night after night of drunken abuse from children who should be at home in bed dreaming of a bright and prosperous future. Instead, they roam our streets like snarling dogs as ugly and unpredictable as a badly raised pitbull. I think we deserve better in Taranaki. I think as a community we have it within our power to stop this scourge in its tracks. Over the coming weeks the Taranaki Daily News will be investigating the issue and the impact it is having on our community. We don’t have a silver bullet, but we do have the means to jumpstart the debate. The Save Our Streets campaign is a community challenge and a call to arms for community leaders. We need to stop this right now. If that means changing the law or amending bylaws, then we should do it. If it means identifying the group or groups responsible, then so be it. If it means banning gangs, do it. If it means visiting the parents of these kids and holding them accountable, so be it. If it means trespassing troublemakers from the CBD, let’s do that too. If we genuinely believe that our streets should be safe any time of the day or night, then it is up to us to fix the problem. Jonathan MacKenzie Editor By the end of the campaign pa aign street attacks had dwindled and police, publicans and the district council had hammered out new measures to attack the issue. These included fairly simple remedies such as more cops on the beat, bar security staff wearing high-visibility vests and community volunteers agreeing to man security cameras at the police station. In the end a close examina- “This front page jump started a Taranaki Daily News campaign that went a long way to solving a chronic street violence problem in New Plymouth. It wasn’t an easy campaign to run as it made police and local body top brass extremely anxious, but we had the support of our readers and cops on the beat. 14 PANPA 2010 Year Book 2009 Y tion of the problem and the newspaper’s stance that we shouldn’t put up with it led to a solution. I reckon it’s a good example of a newspaper proving to its readers that it is effective and forward thinking.” EditOR jONATHAN MACKENzIE 14 MARCH 2009 11 APRIL 2009 MALE,34. Index
Year Book 2009
Year Book 2011