An Auckland teenager is calling for better security on trains after he was mugged at knifepoint over the weekend.
The 15-year-old boy was travelling from Auckland City to Papakura, on board a southern line train, around 7.30pm on Sunday when he was approached by a man, estimated to be 20 to 25 years old.
The unnamed teen told Stuff the man confronted him in the train carriage when they were alone.
"He approached me saying, 'Give me everything you have or I'm going to stab you'," the teen said.
"He said he had it in his pocket and I could see an outline of a knife."
The teen was forced to give the man his cellphone, his Nike bag and the $300 Air Jordan shoes he was wearing.
The alleged offender then got off the train at the Manurewa station.
Afterwards, the teen alerted the train manager to what had happened.
"He was like, 'Why didn't you try to alert me?' He thought he could do something but he was 5'5, I'm like 5'11 and I couldn't do anything either," the teen said.
The teen got off at Papakura station, and walked barefoot to Papakura Police Station, where he gave a description of the offender and was told police would try to get CCTV footage from the train.
A police spokeswoman said they are aware of the incident and are making inquiries, which will include reviewing CCTV footage and working with the victim to get a formal statement.
"We are aware of stressful nature this type of crime has on anyone, especially a young person and we are doing everything we can to find the offender and hold them to account," the spokeswoman said.
An Auckland Transport spokesman said AT was aware of an allegation that a train passenger was robbed at knifepoint.
"As soon as train staff were told about this they provided information to police and Auckland Transport Operations Centre to ensure that any CCTV footage would be made available to the police," the spokesman said.
"This incident is disturbing and AT will assist police in any way possible."
The spokesman said incidents like this were very rare and AT hoped this would not discourage anyone from using public transport in Auckland.
Earlier last year AT made the decision to reduce on-board train manager positions as part of major restructure of train services.
The managers were replaced by transport officers in November last year.
The spokesman said the transport officer role was created to improve safety and to better enforce fare evasion.
"There are now 55 transport officers who have comprehensive training in security measures and hold a warrant from the Commissioner of Police to issue fare evasion infringement notices.
"Recruitment for transport officers is ongoing, with the aim of employing more than 200, who will work across the public transport network," the spokesman said.
"Feedback from customers about transport officers has been very positive."
However the decision has been long contested by the Rail and Maritime Union which argued that train managers played a critical role during emergencies, breakdowns, level-crossing incidents and when people require first aid.
Presently there is only one train manager patrolling up to six carriages.
"Without the train manager there, we have real concerns about what would happen in those situations," RMTU organiser Stu Johnstone said last year.
RMTU Northern Organiser Rudd Hughes told Stuff these incidents seem to be happening more frequently.
He said an effective way to curtail security incidents would be having a combination of transport managers and train managers working together.