A teenager had her head stomped on, and the daylight attack then shared on social media.
In another incident, a girl was pursued through Dunedin’s CBD, and later hit from behind and thrown in front of buses just metres from the central police station.
Both unprovoked assaults were by members of a group terrorising parts of the city in recent months, including filming themselves knocking over elderly people, and taunting those with disabilities.
A mother of one of the victims said her daughter had been traumatised by the assault, which had curtailed her independence.
‘’She feels like she is in lockdown.’’
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The mother of a girl felled by a coward’s punch outside the police station before Christmas told Stuff her daughter had to change schools, and endured bullying online.
That included repeated messages telling her daughter ‘’to kill herself’’.
The incident involved a dozen teens, with some pulling her daughter’s hair before throwing her in front of buses.
That assault led to one of the assailant’s being arrested.
Her daughter, who suffered bruises and abrasions, was later sent “apology letters” from the perpetrators.
Those letters were dropped off to her house by police, but the mother questioned whether anyone had read them as they contained thinly veiled threats.
One of the more serious incidents unfolded in late February, with a group pursuing a teenage girl through several inner city malls.
Inside the Golden Centre, the girl was attacked and when she fell to the ground her head was stomped on.
‘’Kids having a fight is one thing, but a mob attacking a child on their own and stamping on their head is a particularly vicious kind of attack,’’ said the mother.
Her daughter, who had suffered a concussion, managed to flee the group, but the pursuit of her was filmed and shared online.
The 14-year-old girl who stomped on her daughter’s head was arrested.
It is understood she was previously barred from some city premises.
The group of mainly girls are also known to hang out and drink alcohol at a council-owned car park, and taunt shoppers.
That includes filming themselves knocking over elderly people and targetting disabled people, in videos called the ‘’bundy hunt’’.
The group also referred to Year 9 high school students as their ‘’prospects’’.
Videos shared on social media include a large number congregating outside the central police station in a show of defiance.
Senior Sergeant Craig Dinnissen said while there was no noticeable increase in recorded youth crime rates, there had been ‘’small spikes’’.
That included the bus hub and the Great King St car parking building, and he urged anyone who witnessed offending to report it to police.
‘’We get told about it after the fact. That is a massive problem, it has to be reported at the time.’’
Police had responded with increased foot patrols around the bus hub, which is next to the Dunedin Police Station.
Dinnissen said youth offenders could be arrested and charged, with police working with parents and caregivers and other agencies to support the child.
Officers were also working with the Dunedin City Council (DCC) to improve the footage and placements of the city’s CCTV network.
Council property services group manager David Bainbridge-Zafar confirmed council was aware of issues at the Great King St car park and bus hub, which in turn were reported to police.
That had led to increased security patrols in the area.
The council had a network of 225 security cameras throughout the city, but that did not include cameras at the new bus hub, he said.
The responsibility of those cameras were yet to be transferred by the Otago Regional Council.