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July 20, 2009 | by  | in News |
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Student safety at Railway Station questioned

Buskers take dip in income

A student beleaguered by two men at Wellington Railway Station last week has been told by station officials that user safety was not part of their jurisdiction.

Richard Law, a student at Victoria University, was standing in the station’s west wing near Pipitea Campus at 5.30pm last Monday when he noticed two Polynesian men acting suspiciously near the escalators.

The two men approached a duo of buskers and attempted to extort money from them.

The men talked briefly with the buskers before abruptly grabbing their instruments, a didgeridoo and bongo drums and playing with them.

One of the buskers was forced to hand over some money to get the men to leave.

Law, who was standing opposite, became the next target as the men approached him from different angles, effectively blocking him against the wall. One of the men began to intimidate the student.

“I felt really threatened. I thought he was going to burn my face. When I told them I didn’t have any money, they asked to search my wallet.”

When raising his voice didn’t seem to grasp the attention of people passing by, Law cautiously slipped past the two men and darted in-between the crowds, heading directly for the Inquiries Desk in the Station.

Meanwhile, the two men had accosted a young woman in her early twenties who promptly handed over an unknown sum of money from her wallet.

Expecting the two men to be reprimanded for coercing train-users into handing over their money, Law was stunned when told that this was out of their jurisdiction.

“They basically told me it wasn’t their problem, that the station was run by Wellington City Council, and that I had a cell-phone so I should call the police.”

While Law was writing out a complaints form, the staff member at the enquiries desk radioed for a security worker to scout the area.

The enquiries desk called Law moments after he left his complaint form, reiterating the point that aggressive behaviour in the Station was not their concern and was a matter for Wellington City Council.

When Salient spoke to the inquiries desk at Wellington Train Station, staff explained that the subway, where the incident had occurred, was part of the Wellington Council’s jurisdiction.

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Comments (2)

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  1. T.T says:

    TranzMetro are shit

  2. Deja Jew says:

    This story makes my balls ache with sexual desire.

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