A former refugee who was brutally attacked by a stranger while walking home in West Auckland feels like her case has fallen through the cracks.

Sri Lanka-born Chandra Yogeswaran was violently mugged while walking home from a New Lynn train station on April 17.

Another woman punched her in the head twice at the corner of Rimu and Hinekohu Sts.

While she lay on the ground her handbag was snatched from her.


Strangers helped Yogeswaran after the attack and she gave a statement to police who she said identified the suspect immediately.

But on April 30, when she contacted a police officer for an update on the case, she received a response she said was unhelpful.

"The way police behaved was unsatisfactory," Yogeswaran said.

"It's really disappointing. I don't want this to happen to any other person."

She said she was told the case had been transferred to somebody else and that they had been too understaffed.

Police deny that they were understaffed or that any mistake was made with her case.

Chandra Yogeswaran wants answers about why she was attacked. Photo / Dean Purcell
Chandra Yogeswaran wants answers about why she was attacked. Photo / Dean Purcell

Waitākere West response manager Senior Sergeant Roger Small said the case was still being investigated and that matters have been followed up.

"However, the latest links draw us to Morrinsville and Hamilton, which means we have to forward the file to other areas for follow-up enquiries, which can often cause some delays."

Yogeswaran said she felt like her injury had been underestimated and she had also been told her case was not a priority.

She is still in such pain that she has been forced to take several sick days from her job at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, and she has been referred to a concussion clinic.

Police maintain that they treat incidents of this nature seriously.

Small said there were a range of factors which may influence decisions on how cases were prioritised and each matter was treated on a "case-by-case" basis.

Priority was always given to matters where there was a "threat or imminent risk" to the safety to people or property, he said.

"Police staff do their best to fully investigate every complaint, however the nature of policing dictates that some matters will always need to be prioritised."

A small item inside her handbag has been returned to her by police but her iPhone 7, which contained all her photographic memories of her life in Wellington, remains missing.

According to New Zealand law, physical assault was a serious offence, she said, adding that she needed answers about what happened.

"I need some justice here.

"I need to know why that woman punched me."

If there were not enough police officers then the government needed to step up and fund more, she said.

"That's what I want to get out of this whole incident."

Yogeswaran said after leaving countries abroad that were unsafe, she should be safe in New Zealand, where she received citizenship in 2004.

"It was an unforgettable day in my life."

More than three-quarters of crime in New Zealand does not get reported to police, according to the recent New Zealand Crime and Victims Survey, as many victims do not realise an offence had been committed against them.

The survey showed while 71 per cent of Kiwis had not experienced crime in the past year, 77 per cent of crime is also not reported to police.

The survey showed that 1,777,000 incidents of crime were estimated over the past year - nearly two-thirds of which was personal crime, and one-third household crime.

The most common crime was burglary, which accounted for nearly one in five incidents.

It was closely followed by harassment and threatening behaviour, which, at 300,000 incidents, makes up 17 per cent of offending.

Fraud and deception were the third most common, with 273,000 incidents.

The survey found neither men nor women were more or less likely to be victims of crime.