Lincoln Tan is the New Zealand Herald’s diversity, ethnic affairs and immigration senior reporter.

Chinese community fear for safety following spate of crime, says Auckland researcher

A series of crimes against Chinese victims has left the community fearing for their safety and wondering if they are being targeted, an Auckland University researcher says.

More than 6 in 10 of the 8500 Chinese who responded to an online survey conducted by Dr Andrew Zhu today said they felt unsafe in New Zealand, and 92 per cent said they were not satisfied with the anti-crime response by the authorities.

There have been at least seven incidents in the last 10 days involving Chinese who have been victims or involved in some other way. The incidents are a being widely shared and discussed on WeChat and other Chinese social media and microblogging sites.

Jenny Li, owner of the Dumpling Ace noodle shop said she was attacked and assaulted at her restaurant in Northcote on Sunday night.

"A woman came into the restaurant shouting 'f**ing Asian' and later wrestled me to the ground," Li said.

"She hit me with a bottle and also bit me on the leg, and there was blood all over...I was worried at what else she was going to do."

Police were called and a 17-year-old female at the scene has been charged with breach of bail, common assault and assault with intent to injure.

Zhu said Chinese immigrants were worried about their safety.

Dr Andrew Zhu. Photo / Doug Sherring
Dr Andrew Zhu. Photo / Doug Sherring

"The perception that New Zealand is heaven is fast becoming one that it is hell. The country is seen as being a heaven only for criminals because of the soft action against them."

Susan Zhu, a Waitemata Police Asian Reference Group member, wrote an email to the police raising "serious concern within the Chinese community" to public and personal safety.

"New migrant communities are feeling more vulnerable particularly when those incidents happened within such a short period of time," she wrote.

"They feel that they have been targeted by criminals...and NZ, particularly Auckland, is no longer a safe place."

Chinese website Skykiwi will this week be launching a campaign across its online platforms and social media accounts calling for greater protection for the community.

"We are seeking answers from politicians, the police, lawyers, community leaders, international students and the general public," spokesman Robbie Peng said.

North Shore Area Commander Inspector Shanan Gray said the police were in the process of creating a Police WeChat account so it could communicate both in English and Chinese with the Chinese community.

"We will be able to provide them with prevention advice and further increase our community engagement," Gray said.

"We want everyone in our community to feel safe...we urge any members of our community who feels unsafe to visit their local police station and speak with them."

Gray said Asian victims are under-represented in Police victimisation statistics.

The 2013 census showed 12 per cent of the population comprised of Asians, but victimisation for Asians were between 2-3 per cent, she said.

CHINESE CRIME VICTIMS

• Aug 21: Attempted burglary and assault at Dumpling Ace noodle shop at the Northcote Shopping Centre.

• Aug 20: Home invasion at San Prospero Cres, Henderson.

• Aug 17: Robberies at Parliament St, Upper Queen St and Queen St.

• Aug 15: Assault at Countdown Britomart and bag snatching on High St.

• Aug 13: Assault and robbery at Mission Bay

(source: Skykiwi, Susan Zhu Waitemata Police Asian Reference Group)

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf03 at 20 Feb 2017 19:35:08 Processing Time: 395ms