Three abduction attempts reported

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by Greta Yeoman

While there were three attempted abductions in the Timaru district during the 12 months ending June 30, police say all incidents involved people known to each other.

The incidents were in October 2018, January this year and in May – an increase from one abduction reported in the previous 12 months.

Detective Senior Sergeant Richard Quested said all three incidents involved people known to each other, and were attempted kidnappings.

“Nobody actually got taken and held.”

An abduction incident in May was by a youth offender, who knew the victim, and they were being dealt with by Youth Aid, Det Snr Sgt Quested said.

An earlier incident in January was custody-related, while another attempted abduction in October 2018 involved the arrest of two people, who also knew the victim involved.

Nine robberies were reported to Timaru police in the past year, and while two were unresolved, three of the offenders had known their victims and two were also additional charges to the abduction incidents, he said.

He said the high number of assaults reported in December (estimated to be about 33 incidents) was often due to end-of-year events and other social activities before Christmas, particularly because of high alcohol consumption.

“We want every person to celebrate responsibly.”

Mr Quested reminded people to look out for their friends if they were at risk of ending up in harmful situations.

“Don’t be afraid to speak up.

“We want people to go out and have fun.”

Mr Quested said while he did not think crime was increasing, people were becoming more comfortable about reporting it.

While data on the police.govt.nz website indicated five abductions and 16 robberies in the past year, these were statistical double-ups (for example, the “three” reported abductions in January were actually the same event and related to other charges connected to the incident), Mr Quested said.

“There hasn’t been a massive rise.”