Auckland’s city centre business association is calling for stronger action from police after a man fired a gun in the Sofitel hotel yesterday.
Armed police swarmed the upmarket hotel at the Viaduct after shots were fired in the lobby about 9am. Officers later headed to a residential street in the city fringe suburb of Ōrākei.
Police are continuing their investigation but say a gang rivalry led to the incident.
Heart of the City chief executive Viv Beck told Morning Report while the incident was very well managed by police, it’s not something you expect to happen when you go about your day.
She said the issue needs to be dealt with before it gets worse.
“While these issues are really concerning and we’re certainly looking for strong action, unfortunately they’re not unique to the city centre and we are collectively starting to hear about a lot of issues about violence around crime and I think that is really the concern.”
Beck believes the situation needs to be taken more seriously, but it’s wrong to judge it as just a city centre issue.
“There does seem to be a growing crime issue,” she said.
“I think there does need to be a really strong response from police and government agencies in general to be able to understand what is happening here and what are we going to be able to do about it.”
People expect to feel safe and it’s concerning to see these things in broad daylight, she said.
Police Minister Poto Williams said officers arrested two people and are searching for a third, after the altercation between the Head Hunters and Mongols gangs.
Meanwhile, dozens and sometimes hundreds of frontline police officers have been told to carry guns on average once a week in recent months, as fears around gun violence escalate.
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