An open letter to Wellington City Council:
So far all we have seen of Wellington’s mayor is bike riding… and the flat denial from both her and the Police that it is at all dangerous to be out at night in Wellington, New Zealand.
It may well affect the number of tourists we get if you admit to this, but is it worth the life of this man and the others that will surely follow in his footsteps? Only two men have died “in a public place in Wellington” – they were both gay.
While there may be no link to Phillip [Cottrell's] sexuality here, it does pose the question, why were they both gay? This was not “a cowardly attack” on a total stranger – this was a planned murder by a person or persons who is/are, to all intents and purposes, a serial killer waiting to strike again.
If you read the comments on Stuff and the editorial it appears that there is a group of 10-12 people travelling by van around Wellington with the sole intention of beating people up for sport. What is being done to make our city safe from random attacks? Is this behaviour acceptable? Why wasn’t it stopped immediately by the large cohort of Police in the area… perhaps because there was no large cohort of police.
I own several properties in Wellington and pay a portion of your salary. I happen to be gay but I do not feel safe on Wellington streets regardless of my sexuality because of the obvious lack of Police presence and lack of cameras as a deterrent to random street violence. While you may wish to promote the image of a safe message, such is the power of the internet that the correct message will get out. You need to be aware of this rather than pretending there is no problem.
I have spent some time in London and feel safer there than in this small country town called Wellington. Please do something absolutely positive and protect the citizens you serve. Phillip’s death will already have echoed around the UK, Australia and the world; such were his connections. Clear positive action now in response to and in respect of his life will surely send the right message that this is not something that will be tolerated in Wellington, regardless of sexuality.
I hope this news will spread around the world and alert everyone in my community that Wellington, New Zealand is not a safe place. It is dangerous with random attacks of violence that kill. Two men have died in a public place, they were both gay. Heterosexual people are also randomly attacked in the streets and the trend for such crime, according to the Wellington Police is upwards.