7 Dec 2008

Hard to stop senseless acts of violence - Mayor

8:52 am on 7 December 2008

The Mayor of Christchurch says steps are being taken to make the city safer, but it is hard to stop senseless, random acts of violence such as the killing of a taxi driver.

Abdulrahman Ikhtiari, 39, died from a single stab wound to his chest at 1am on Saturday. Originally from Afghanistan, he is survived by his wife and five children.

The incident occurred at the intersection of Worcester and Barbadoes Streets at about 1am on Saturday.

Witnesses report seeing two people running from the United Taxi vehicle.

Mayor Bob Parker says the city has initiatives to curb violence including restricting access to bars, extra safety patrols, security cameras and better public transport.

But he says people are frustrated that there seems to be nothing that can be done to stop senseless violence.

Mr Parker says he would like to see the legal drinking age returned to 20 years.

No calls

Police say the motive for the killing is unclear, but it does not appear to be robbery.

Mr Ikhtiari did not make any calls for help on his car radio.

Detective Senior Sergeant Mike Johnson says it is believed the men were Mr Ikhtiari's last passengers, but there are no records of them getting into the taxi.

He says the last formal dispatch job was an hour before the attack, which indicates the two men were picked up off the street, but it is not known where or when.