A spate of three random attacks in the last month has further raised concerns about the safety of New Zealand's streets.
The stabbing incidents in Auckland and Christchurch in the last week followed an earlier incident in Mt Albert.
"These are separate incidents, but they do feel eerily similar," says Bayer.
"These are random knife attacks on strangers going about their daily lives in broad daylight. And if you go back a month, there have actually been three serious, seemingly random, stabbing events. We also had the stabbing of Thomas Coombes on a Mount Albert walkway on May 24."
Full details on the attacks remain unclear at this stage, but Bayer notes that mental health concerns were cited in the two most recent attacks.
"We need to let the court process run its course and suppression orders often mean that we can't reveal everything that we know," says Bayer.
Given the sheer randomness and awfulness of these events, they have attracted substantial media attention.
This is ultimately feeding into the perception that New Zealand's streets are not as safe as they once were.
But is this growing perception actually reflected in the police data? Are violent incidents on the rise, or are we just paying more attention to them?
"The police data doesn't encompass whether attacks are random or not, but we can say at the moment there are high levels of violent crime," explains Bayer.
"If we look at Auckland over the last few months, we've seen gang violence and drive-by shootings. It's only by the grace of God that there hasn't been an innocent person killed.
"You can couple that with ram raids, which are not violent in the sense of using knives or guns, but are still violent – especially to the business community."
Bayer says that the Prime Minister's decision to strip Member of Parliament Poto Williams of the Police portfolio shows there is growing concern about the level of crime in New Zealand at the moment.
"Mr Fix-It Chris Hipkins is now coming in to try and shore things up on the Police front."
Bayer says that police officers that he has spoken to have identified a simmering sense of anger and frustration in their recent encounters with people on the streets. Bayer says there's growing concern that this might be attributable to the impact of the pandemic on society.
"Even as journalists, we've seen that and experienced that ourselves," says Bayer.
"There are emotional and mental struggles out there – a lot of which have been borne out by the Covid-19 pandemic and the stresses and the pressures that brought. There's frustration and anger out there. And I don't know whether many people know where to direct that."
Bayer says that he can't predict how long this will continue but hopes it doesn't endure.
"I hope we're just in an unlucky spate of crime at the moment," he says.
"I wouldn't like to be reporting on these things too often."
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