Foreign travelers to New Zealand's North Island, specifically Kerikeri, are urged to be cautious, particularly late at night due to increased incidence of street robberies and muggings.
As an example, a Swedish national was hit over the head with a wooden stick last week and then held down and robbed of his phone and cash. Typically, a tactic is used whereby assailants ask a tourist for a cigarette to delay their movement and then rob them of their valuables. Most of the assailants are young.
Neither case resulted in any arrests.
COMMENT: Inasmuch as tourism is such a crucial industry throughout New Zealand, local citizens and governments want to rid their communities of local criminals who prey on tourists. A young man had his jaw broken in an unprovoked attack in Kerikeri two weeks ago and a young woman was also hit in the face by another assailant.
It seems apparent that local communities that are seeing a rise in crime against both tourists and locals alike would be well advised to either install surveillance cameras in areas where robberies have occurred and/or deploy saturation patrols into high-crime areas so that arrests can be made.
In the interim, foreign visitors are urged to obtain international medical treatment and evacuation coverage and not carry high-value property at night, thereby reducing the risk of theft during hours of darkness. If you need a list of underwriters, please contact me at: email@example.com.
Moreover, victims should always report crimes to the police and obtain a copy of completed police reports. Victim Support, Ground Floor, 180 Molesworth Street, PO Box 3017, Wellington, NZ. Phone (04) 474 8862, Fax (04) 495 3076, Email firstname.lastname@example.org and http://www.victimsupport.org.nz