New Zealand Crime Declining

New Zealand Crime Declining

But Since 2010, Recorded Sexual Assaults up by 10%

The New Zealand Police have released their annual crime statistics for 2014. The report documents the number of crimes recorded in that year; crimes are counted as resolved when police apprehend the offender and decide how to take action. The Police National Intelligence Application (NIA) gathers the statistics, released in April each year.

The report shows that nationally 350,389 crimes were recorded last year. This is a drop from 360,411 in 2013 and 376,013 in 2012. Minister of Police Michael Woodhouse said the result is “pleasing”.

“We are continuing to send the strong message that crime won’t be tolerated and the 4.2 per cent drop in the overall crime rate is the result of more frontline officers on our streets, deployed more strategically, in areas and at times when police know there’s a greater risk of crime,” said Woodhouse.

Though crime numbers have decreased overall, the resolution rate dropped from 47 per cent in 2012 to 41.5 per cent last year.

The report shows the number of recorded sexual assaults has not increased from 2013, but is a 10 per cent increase from 2012. There were 3738 recorded sexual assaults last year.

“While sexual violence is historically under-reported, it remains a significant concern with an increase in recorded offences by 3.5 per cent,” said Woodhouse. “I encourage victims of sexual assault to continue to come forward and report this crime.”

Dunedin comes under the Southern Police District, which had the second-lowest number of recorded crimes of the 12 police districts nationwide. The district is made up of Otago Coastal (Dunedin), Otago Lakes Central (Otago Rural) and Southland.

Overall, recorded crime in the district decreased by 4.3 per cent in 2014 to 19,447. Aside from a spike in 2003, the region has seen an overall decrease in recorded crimes. In 1996, there were 34,577 recorded offences.

Acting District Commander Inspector Steve McGregor said the drop is “a testament to the continuous hard work” by staff and their partnerships within the community.

Resolution rates in the region have decreased in the past three years. The rate in 2012 was 55.7 per cent; in 2014 it was 50.6 per cent.

McGregor said although police are still analysing the crime statistics, “early indication shows a number of offence classes are responsible for the decrease in the number of resolution rates”.

“While the resolution rate for Southern has dropped since 2012, it has maintained a similar rate to last year and still remains significantly higher than the national average,” said McGregor.

Of all crimes, sexual assaults showed the greatest peak in 2014. There were 307 reported cases, a stark contrast to the 158 in 2012. The number of recorded cases of sexual assault has fluctuated since 1996, but 2014 had the highest number ever recorded.

McGregor said that “in the past, victims of sexual assault have been reluctant to report this crime due to a number of factors”.

“Police are confident that the increase in reported case of sexual assaults and related offences show the increased numbers of the public who have the trust and confidence in us to report this crime, and the excellent support available to victims. Police treat such incidents as a high priority and we continue to encourage victims of such crimes to report them and receive the support they need,” he said.

Per 10,000 people, the Eastern Police District, made up of the Hawkes Bay and Tairawhiti regions, had the highest rate of recorded crime with 1085.3 recorded cases. The Auckland Police District was second with 935.2 recorded cases, and the Northland Police District was third with 913.4 recorded crimes.

The police district that had the least crimes recorded was Waitemata, made up of Rodney, North Shore and Waitakere, with only 566.5 recorded cases per 10,000 people.

Under the Southern District Police region, Southland had the greatest number of crimes recorded, with 665 crimes recorded per 10,000 of the population. Otago Coastal (Dunedin) came in second with 617 per 10,000 of the population, and Otago Lakes had the least with a total of 2,916 cases, or 586.5 per 10,000.

Nationwide Figures

119,323 theft related offences. 21.7% resolved.

53,265 cases of unlawful entry with intent, burglary, breaking and entering. 12.1% resolved.

40,358 cases of property damage and environmental pollution. 28.3% resolved.

39,944 acts intended to cause injury. 72.4% resolved.

26,751 public order offences. 79.6% resolved.

16,085 illicit drugs offences. 90.9% resolved.

16,085 offences against justice procedures, government security and government operations. 88.4% resolved.

15,024 cases of abduction, harassment and other related offences against a person. 56.5% resolved.

9,037 cases of fraud, deception and related offences. 49.6% resolved.

5,791 cases of prohibited and regulated weapons and explosives offences. 89.3% resolved.

4,056 sexual assaults and related offences. 47.6% resolved.

2,140 cases of robbery, extortion and related offences. 40.2% resolved.

737 dangerous or negligent acts endangering persons. 58.9% resolved.

66 homicide related offences. 87.9% resolved.

Southern District Figures

119,323 theft related offences. 21.7% resolved.

4,830 theft related offences, 29.3% resolved.

3,195 cases of property damage and environmental pollution, 28.4% resolved.

2,633 acts intended to cause injury, 80.1% resolved.

2,444 cases of unlawful entry, 15.5% resolved.

2,119 public order offences, 84.6% resolved.

1,098 cases of abduction, harassment and other related offences against a person, 71% resolved.

822 illicit drugs offences, 88.9% resolved.

795 offences against justice procedures, government security and government operations, 91.2% resolved.

572 cases of fraud, deception and related offences. 61.7% resolved.

373 cases of prohibited and regulated weapons and explosives offences 85% resolved.

355 sexual assaults and related offences. 56.9% resolved.

46 cases of robbery, extortion and related offences. 54.3% resolved.
This article first appeared in Issue 7, 2015.
Posted 2:51pm Sunday 12th April 2015 by Laura Munro.