23 May 2024

Teenager dies after stabbing at Dunedin bus hub

10:22 pm on 23 May 2024
Emergency services have converged on an area near Dunedin’s police station after a fight which has left someone injured.

Police said the 16-year-old had died after being taken to Dunedin Hospital in a serious condition. Photo: Stuff/Hamish McNeilly

A teenager has died in hospital after being stabbed in an attack at a bus hub in the Dunedin CBD.

Police were called to the bus hub on Great King Street shortly after 3pm on Thursday.

In an update after 8pm, police said the 16-year-old had died after being taken to Dunedin Hospital in a serious condition.

Another teenager was taken into custody after the incident and will appear in Dunedin Youth Court on Friday.

"This is an incredibly tragic situation for all involved and we are working to support the victim's family, who are understandably distraught at the sudden and violent loss of their loved one," Detective Senior Sergeant Kallum Croudis said.

"We're aware that people in the area around the bus hub on Great King Street may have photos or video footage of the incident.

"We ask that anyone with such photos or videos, along with anyone who witnessed the incident unfold, contact Dunedin Police via 105, quoting file number 240523/3321."

The Otago Daily Times (ODT) reported the boy was a Trinity college pupil, with college principal Kate Nicholson quoted as telling parents the school was "shocked and saddened" by the incident.

"We realise some of our students may have witnessed this event or be significantly affected by it. We encourage you to speak with your child about this."

A flood of comments on the ODT Facebook page questioned how the assault could happen so close to the Dunedin Central Police Station.

"I find it ridiculous that this is directly outside a police station yet it is one of the worst streets in Dunedin," a commenter said.

Another said they avoided the bus hub because of safety fears "even though [the] police station is right there".

"How does this happen outside a police station? Why don't the police have control of the bus hub, when it's in their neighbourhood and they know it's volatile area?" another person commented.

Otago Regional Council transport implementation lead Julian Phillips earlier said: "We continue to work with the Dunedin City Council on improving safety at the hub by employing security guards (funded jointly by DCC and ORC). The security guards also travel on the buses. Security cameras are also in the area".

Bus and train stations plagued by violence

The Dunedin stabbing is just the latest in a run of violent incidents at bus and train stations in the past few months.

In the West Auckland suburb of New Lynn, there were 44 reports of disorderly criminal or suspicious behaviour, drunkenness, and verbal abuse at bus and train stations in April, up from 29 in March.

Two April incidents at New Lynn described a "known" group of disorderly youths, with the report on one of the incidents stating that one of the youths might have a knife.

At the bus station, two 13-year-olds were set upon by a group of up to 20 other teens.

Similar attacks had been reported at the Henderson and Albany transport hubs, also in Auckland.

Security and police patrols were stepped up at the stations following the incidents.

In September 2023, a person was fatally stabbed at the Albany bus station.

A 16-year-old has been charged with murder over that attack.

- RNZ / Otago Daily Times

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