Bus stop attack: Teen screamed for help

A girl was attacked waiting for the bus in Durham St, Tauranga Bay of Plenty Regional Council relocated the Tauranga CBD bus terminal to Durham Street. Photo: SunLive.

A Bay of Plenty teenager with disabilities was beaten, screamed for help and left traumatised while waiting for her school bus at a city centre terminal which has been the scene of violent attacks.

The 13-year-old was at the Durham Street bus stop in Tauranga CBD on July 17 at 3.15pm, when she was hit by two other teenage girls, her mother says.

“My daughter was screaming ‘Help me, help me’ and no one stepped in while they were beating her. She is traumatised. She has bruising and swelling on her face.”

A few months earlier her daughter was pushed in front of a bus by another teenager.

“I’m sick and tired of these bullies targetting the vulnerable. It’s getting worse. She’s terrified going to school.”

Other parents agreed that the central bus stop was where many of their children now feared getting the bus, with the “violence on kids out of the gate”.

It was the bus driver in the end who helped the victim.

“He was amazing, so kind, and helped calm her until her dad could come.”

Evidence shows disabled women face higher rates of abuse.

A man got on the bus with a machete at Tauranga’s CBD, but was removed by police at a further stop in Fraser Street. The incident last year is one of increasing violence in Tauranga’s central bus station, with another attack this week. Photo: SunLive.

The girl’s mother is concerned that there is little security around the bus stop which also makes young people vulnerable to violent people who might target them there.

First Union, the union which represents 40 per cent of Tauranga’s bus drivers, says security should adequately protect drivers and passengers.

Last year a man boarded a bus with a machete at the same bus stop.

“We’ve seen people get on with tasers, knives and machetes,” says a spokesperson.

Drivers were suffering stress from increasing violence, threats and abuse, bullying, harassment and damage to the buses, the spokesperson says.

In response to increased violence at the central bus stop. Bay of Plenty Regional Council has security in place at the Durham Street bus interchange at peak travel times, including after school.

It comes at a cost to ratepayers of $1m a year, but Mike Seabourne, Director Public Transport at the regional council said that they have been able to reduce those costs.

“We continue to monitor the situation and adjust the level of security as required.”

Each reported incident at the bus stop was investigated, he says.

“It’s a challenge as anti-social behaviour in urban locations, like bus stops, can have multiple root causes and require a multi-agency response.”

Paul Mason Safe and Resilient Communities' advisor at Tauranga City Council, says it was working to address the violence.

“Tauranga City Council continues to work closely with police, Regional Council, other agencies and community organisations to address concerns of anti-social behaviour in the city.”

Police were notified about the assault against the girl on Monday, and a police spokesperson told Stuff that the investigation was ongoing.

Annemarie Quill/Stuff.

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18 comments

Not A New Problem

Posted on 24-07-2023 07:11 | By Thats Nice

I know of a young lady that will no longer use the bus system because of the scum hanging around the bus stops. Her partner drives her to work and back every day as she doesn't drive yet. This is not a new problem and is little wonder there is a shortage of bus drivers.


Time for action

Posted on 24-07-2023 08:02 | By Angels

We have a massive amount of ctv camera’s in our city. WHY are the police not getting the footage and following up.


$1m?

Posted on 24-07-2023 08:27 | By Andrew64

$1m for security at one stop? Mike Seabourne contact me and I'll organise it for $600k


Really??

Posted on 24-07-2023 08:31 | By fair game

1 million dollars, rate funded , for a security guard? Didn't realise security guards earned that much! Or is someone else creaming that money? Have to wonder...


$1m a year!

Posted on 24-07-2023 10:01 | By KiwiDerek

"In response to increased violence at the central bus stop. Bay of Plenty Regional Council has security in place at the Durham Street bus interchange at peak travel times, including after school. It comes at a cost to ratepayers of $1m a year..."

What? A security guard on a year's contract costs $1m?


Entitled children

Posted on 24-07-2023 10:26 | By Let's get real

It is becoming increasingly evident that the youngsters are becoming increasingly aggressive and arrogant, with an understanding that they can do as they wish, with absolutely no consequences. I believe that some of the school bus services are becoming threatening environments for students, with ever increasing antisocial behaviour being ignored by the bus companies and regional council. Vaping is apparently common place at the back of the buses, away from the drivers and this is being shared with even younger students from Intermediate schools. Aggressive and antisocial behaviour isn't what it used to be anymore and we're maybe just a small step away from children arming themselves in an attempt to stay safe on some of our school buses. More needs to be done to protect our children and the drivers from antisocial behaviour from children with no boundaries.


CBD bus exchange unsafe

Posted on 24-07-2023 11:03 | By Lvdw

The main bus exchange in the CBD is VERY unsafe yet some of our most vulnerable in the community need to use it. There are drunks, homeless people, drug addicts and dealers all handing around the bus stop. But I suppose its ok because now the mayor no longer has to look at this on a daily basis. Stop treating criminals with kid gloves and provide your hard working tax payers with more safety and peace of mind. Its no wonder the city is dead and the buses are empty.


Crime problem increasing

Posted on 24-07-2023 11:37 | By jed

Crime has always been an issue. But, it seems to be worse these days than ever.

Gangs disrupt Mt Maunganui every weekend, on bikes that exceed legal noise limits. Police do nothing to stop this weekend law breaking, as it constantly repeats.

I predict, if this Saturday is nice weather, gangs will be on their illegal bikes riding around downtown Mount.

Will police do anything? No.


$1million a year for failed security?

Posted on 24-07-2023 13:08 | By morepork

And they wonder why we want to keep our cars. How are we producing 13 year olds who think that bashing the disabled is a good way to blow off steam? Said it before and I repeat: We need to address these attitudes and the culture of bash. Simply punishing the guilty (while it is necessary) is not going to solve this problem. We need to change attitudes in the rising generation and it requires effort from schools, families, and the community. Open discussion and recognition of positive ways to settle differences need to become embedded, bullying and violence must be stopped at the source. I think about when I was 13... neither myself nor my schoolmates would have tolerated this for a moment. The strong protected the weak and disabled kids were not abused. Programs in school like Kiwi Can and similar need more support. Attitudes must change.


the antics of ferals

Posted on 24-07-2023 13:23 | By Howbradseesit

All of us can guess the perpetrators demographic on this one. Right?
Sick of these feral maggots the Govt call 'vulnerable' ruining things for the majority of people that pay for, contribute to and want to use the services safely. If the Govt, local and national want citizens to use public transport then do something about making people feel safe from these tip rats. Labours strategy of kindness and benefits and wrap around supports does not appear to be working - I'd rather that budget was spent on security for each bus and more police.


Zero tolerance

Posted on 24-07-2023 13:32 | By oceans

Attacks of violence against others has been increasing in recent times and should not be tolerated. Innocent people going about their business are being accosted by others who for generally no other reason accept that they can and won't suffer the consequences. This type of indiscriminate violence should be seen by the courts as extremely serious and dealt with accordingly. And I don't mean a smack on the hand. Whether that is making the parents responsible or the assailant it makes no difference. Someone needs to be charged. the poor girl who suffered should be able to sue the culprits or their parents. In that regard laws need to be changed.


@Oceans

Posted on 24-07-2023 13:48 | By morepork

You make a very good point that legal action against the culprits AND their parents, should be possible. Unfortunately, much of this behaviour stems from homes where the parents either don't care, don't know, and/or endorse the bash.


Watchman

Posted on 24-07-2023 16:34 | By Feruno

CRIME is now RAMPANT in Tauranga, or Tauranga Moana, as it is now known, under the current Guvmint, who also took over the Council some time ago. The Courts and police do nothing to rectify the crime wave. All the council want to do is make the city 'prettier' and bankrupt the city


12th Comment

Posted on 24-07-2023 17:32 | By Ceem

It's taken 12 comments before "morepork" hits the nail on the head - start with the parents, of these miscreants, being brought into court and answering for their kid's behaviour - before that the kids have to be caught!!


home at fault

Posted on 24-07-2023 19:41 | By Delboy

starts from home and has to change there.
My parents seemed to know where I was around those ages, god forbid me if I was smoking or drinking.
Parents don't give a rats bottom anymore as long as they feel good. They enable their kids to do this, video games and phones are the problem also.
It is a wonder they go to school at all.


@Howbradseesit.......

Posted on 24-07-2023 21:20 | By groutby

....'feral maggots' indeed..........we have to hope after October that we can at least see some progress on maggot eradication...I, like everyone else hope that is not too late to reclaim our country from such.........


So why should I

Posted on 24-07-2023 21:55 | By nerak

use a bus? Sounds like a risky if not downright dangerous way to travel, yet our employees want to force us to climb aboard.


Security Guards???

Posted on 25-07-2023 13:05 | By Happyday

What is the point of Security Guards? They are not allowed to touch, let alone arrest these feral maggots. The Guards should be given the authority to give these thugs a smack on the backside, a hard smack. Then cart them off to the police station, where they could get another one. I was always told not to come home and tell my mum that I had had the cane at school because if I did, I'd get another caning from her. And she meant it.


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