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'Take some accountability': Woman chased boys after they attacked West Auckland pupil

Author
Raphael Franks,
Publish Date
Wed, 15 May 2024, 12:08pm

'Take some accountability': Woman chased boys after they attacked West Auckland pupil

Author
Raphael Franks,
Publish Date
Wed, 15 May 2024, 12:08pm

A woman who was driving past Green Bay High School and saw a small student being attacked by about nine others from another school says she chased after the offending group. 

The woman, who asked not to be named, told the Herald she was on the phone with police as she gave chase. 

She is disappointed the offending boys’ school never followed up with her after she called to let them know what the group - all in uniform - had been doing. 

With several high schoolers being attacked in the past month, the woman who intervened in Green Bay said she was frustrated that it appeared nothing was being done. 

It was only a matter of time before a child was killed, and it would take a combined effort from police and schools to stop the violence, she said. 

“For this to stop, I think everybody needs to take some accountability and make our streets safe for our kids.” 

Police arrested four young people yesterday after several aggravated robberies and assaults in New Lynn, Henderson and Westgate. 

Police said the group was responsible for “the bulk of the recent offending in the wider New Lynn area” - though it was not known if they were involved in the Green Bay assault. 

Boy beaten, bruised waiting to be picked up from school 

As the woman was driving home from work on Godley Rd, she saw a group of boys running away from another who was lying on the ground. 

“I knew something was going on, so I did a u-turn, and when I turned around, I saw that [this boy] had been assaulted and the other boys were running off,” she said. 

“He was all bumped and bruised on his face. He was shaken. He was an innocent kid just waiting to be picked up.” 

A neighbour of the school rushed to help the injured schoolboy while the woman chased the fleeing group in her car. 

She said she followed the children for about 30 minutes, relaying information to police. 

“At that point, I was like, ‘Well, are they going to send anyone because these boys are getting away?’,” she said. 

“I’ve got teenage kids, and if something like that happened to them, I would hope that someone in the community would do the same thing,” the woman said. 

Spate of recent attacks around New Lynn, Kelston 

The Green Bay attack was one of a series of violent incidents in West Auckland which have rattled local families. 

New Lynn social media pages are full of parents claiming their children have been victimised in similar incidents and calling for further action from authorities. 

After the arrest of four young people yesterday, police recognised the anxiety the events had caused in the community. 

“Aggravated robberies and assaults on young people are serious offences and police will act swiftly to respond to, investigate and hold offenders to account,” said Waitematā West Area Prevention Manager Inspector Kelly Farrant. 

“We recognise that the involvement of young people in such serious crimes is deeply troubling, especially when offenders are as young as 12-years-old. 

“Our response is not only about enforcement but also about prevention and intervention,” she said. 

Police made the arrests after observing a group of young people in Green Bay who were wearing masks. 

Two 13-year-olds will appear in court later this month charged with multiple counts of aggravated robbery. 

Farrant said police, its partners and community groups would have an increased and visible presence in the New Lynn bus and train station areas. 

13-year-old schoolgirl was attacked by a group of up to 20 children as she waited for her bus at New Lynn bus station three weeks ago. 

Within the last two weeks, a young boy was targeted in a brutal attack at a McDonald’s in New Lynn. 

Another 13-year-old, a schoolboy, was also attacked while waiting with his friends at the New Lynn station four weeks ago. Half an hour before this assault, the same offending group attacked two other members of the public. 

Raphael Franks is an Auckland-based reporter who covers breaking news. He joined the Herald as a Te Rito cadet in 2022. 

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