If anything, Auckland Council has encouraged the sort of low level intimidation that eventually leads to escalating violence. A good example of this is the failure of Council to curtail begging on Queen Street. This led to organised gangs of ‘beggars’ moving into the area with resultant violence against shopkeepers and their customers.
Police Minister Judith Collins says police are not to blame, and she's sick of councils failing to act on alcohol-fuelled street violence.
It follows a Newshub investigation which found Auckland neighbourhoods dominate the list of the most violent hot-spots across the country.
Judith Collins told Paul Henry it's frustrating when councils have been given authority to sort the problem, and they aren't using it effectively.
"Local bodies asked for power to make their own decisions, they got it," she says.
"And yet I have been lobbied by councillors about how they didn't want these things, I've had councillors tell me that the police should not be making submissions," she says.
Auckland Council says it is committed to working with police to address crime and improve public safety, and currently facilitates a quarterly Taskforce on Alcohol and Community Safety.
Manurewa Local Board Chair Angela Dalton is backing Judith Collins in her assessment of Auckland’s Councillors. Dalton had this to say on social media.
I know it shouldn't, but it simply amazes me that some Councillors have the urge to blame Central Government for everything. I have said at council committee meetings before, you can't demand decision making on local issues from Central Government and then blame them for `abandonment of their responsibilities' when things get to hard.
We asked for local decision making for liquor licensing, local alcohol plans and bylaws - Councillors chose to extend the hours in the city for the `tourist' against the advice of the police.
Man up and do the job properly and stop blaming others all of the time.
Dinky train sets are not what make a city a great place to live: being safe to walk the streets is. It’s time Auckland elected a fresh bunch of Councillors who understand that public safety comes first. Nobody will want to play with Council’s train set if they are going to be attacked on trains, in stations and on the surrounding streets .