Grey Power says New Zealand needs to 'worry' after spate of attacks on elderly people

Grey Power is calling on New Zealand to rally together behind elderly people after a series of attacks on them.

On Thursday, a 71-year-old man was hospitalised after a serious attack by a man smashing shop windows in central Dunedin. The victim was passing by and tried to speak with him and was assaulted, leaving the man with serious injuries, police said.

In Auckland, an elderly man was hospitalised after being assaulted and robbed at Sylvia Park Shopping Centre on July 29. 

The elderly man was targeted by the offender and was hospitalised with non-life threatening injuries with his wallet and watch stolen, detective senior sergeant Greg Brand said.  

A 71-year-old Hamilton man was left shaken after he was randomly and viciously assaulted outside his home on Monday.  

The victim heard noises from the street and went to check what was going on when a man came up behind him and punched him.

Grey Power vice president Pete Matcham told AM on Friday New Zealand should be concerned after these recent attacks. 

"A violent attack on anyone is a concern but particularly when the people who are affected are the oldest and most vulnerable in the community it's something, which I think as a society we need to worry about," Matcham told AM co-host Melissa Chan-Green. 

Matcham said some elderly people are so scared they don't even want to open the front door of their house. 

"I think that's one of the major issues and obviously for the people that are directly involved it's a terrible experience but a lot of older people get really concerned," he said.

"It affects their sense of security to the extent where a lot of old people are scared to go out these days .. or even answer the door in some cases."  

"This has a major impact on their physical and mental well-being. It's the loss of trust in society I think that really hurts them."

Matcham said the key thing police can do is have a presence on the streets around New Zealand. 

"Unfortunately we have to admit if there was an easy answer someone would've done it by now, but the one thing, which does occur to me is the physical presence of authorities such as the police and in the old terminology pounding the beat," he said. 

"Just seeing them around gives that sense of security and I would expect also deter the people who are carrying out these attacks." 

Matcham urges Kiwis to look out for their elderly community to make sure they are doing okay. 

"It's the community that looks after people ultimately and if you know that you have got an older neighbour, just saying 'hello' to them across the fence in the morning is really important to maintain that sense of community and physical contact."  

Watch the full interview with Pete Matcham above.