Crime prevention

Your Guide to Keeping Safe brochure - English (PDF, 1.5MB)

Personal Safety

Plan ahead

  • Make a list of the phone numbers of people you can call in an emergency. Keep a phone by your bed.
  • Arrange with a neighbour to look out for you. For example, arrange for a neighbour to collect your mail when you are away on holiday.
  • Consider getting a personal alarm you can activate in an emergency.
  • Consider installing a monitored security alarm in your home.
  • Don't be tricked
  • If a stranger comes to your home and asks to use your phone, offer to make the phone call yourself. They don't need to come into your home and you don't need to open the door.
  • Don't do business with strangers who come to the door or call you by phone.
  • Don't discuss your finances with strangers or give out details of your bank or credit cards over the phone.
  • Get several quotes before you employ tradespeople or ask a friend for a recommendation.
  • If you think someone is trying to cheat you, contact the Police.

General safety tips

  • Don't keep large amounts of cash/jewelery at home.
  • Never admit to being home alone.
  • Install a wide-angle peephole in your door.
  • Install security chains on the inside of external doors.
  • If you receive a wrong number phone call, never give out your name and address.
  • Ask for a security checklist from your Neighbourhood Support contact

Theft prevention advice for businesses

There are many ways you can prevent crime affecting your business.

Police have worked with Greater East Tamaki Business Assn (GETBA) to provide simple, effective crime prevention techniques through a series of short video clips. 

You can watch Police officers demonstrate easy crime prevention techniques in English or Mandarin (Chinese) on the GETBA website.

Driving in New Zealand

Everyone who drives on the road in New Zealand must have a valid driver licence. In New Zealand people drive on the left hand side of the road. The speed limit is 50 kilometers per hour on most city/urban roads and 100 kilometers per hour on most other roads. Road side sign posts are used to indicate when the speed limit changes. You can be fined or have your driver licence taken off you for exceeding the speed limit. If you have a current overseas driver licence or international driving permit you can drive for one year after you first arrive in New Zealand. If you do not have an overseas driver licence or an international driving permit you cannot drive. You must apply for a New Zealand driver licence. If you are caught by Police driving without a valid licence, you will be ordered to pay a fine and you will not be able to drive anymore until you get a proper licence. You cannot get a Driver’s licence from the Police. To apply for a New Zealand Driver’s licence, you can phone the Land Transport New Zealand on 0800 822422 or contact your nearest driver licensing agent. See also: Driving information for visitors and new residents from Land Transport New Zealand.

If you are a victim of crime or a road crash

  • New Zealand Police are responsible for investigating crime and road crashes, and for keeping people safe.
  • If you see a crime or road crash happening, or if you are a victim of crime, then please telephone the Police to report it and ask for help. It is important to tell the police as soon as possible.
  • In an emergency, telephone the police by dialling 111.
  • In many situations, Police will want to visit the place where the crime happened (the crime scene).
  • In non-emergency situations, police may ask you to go to a police station to make an official report.
  • Police may want to talk to you about the crime and get information and evidence to help catch the offenders and, if appropriate, arrest them.
  • New Zealand Police are very good at catching criminals and solving crime.
  • If you saw a person committing a crime or causing a road crash, you can help Police by telling them what the person looked like. This is called giving a good description.
  • Victim Support is another organisation that works very closely with Police to help and support you after a road crash or crime has been committed.
  • Victim Support can help you with any questions or concerns you may have about being a victim or witness.
  • If the person who caused the crime or road crash is arrested, he or she may have to go to Court.
  • You may also have to go to Court to give evidence and explain what that person did to you. Court Victim Advisers can help you with information about the court process.
  • In New Zealand all victims have rights, which include being treated with courtesy and compassion. The Victims’ Rights Act 2002 sets out what your rights are as a victim.

Family violence

  • In New Zealand, family violence is a crime. Police take it very seriously.
  • It is against the law for anyone to physically, sexually or psychologically abuse another person.
  • Examples of family violence include punching or kicking a family member; damaging property as a way of hurting someone; trying to control someone's life by constantly humiliating them; bullying, sexual mistreatment; controlling someone's money, time, car or contact with friends as a way of having power over them.
  • The most common types of family violence reported to Police involves violence against women and children. About 85% of victims reporting to Police are women.
  • Police recognise the serious harm family violence does to children who see or hear family violence. Police will also do their best to keep children safe from harm.
  • If you or a family member is in immediate danger from family violence then telephone the police on 111.
  • If family violence is happening in your home, you should tell someone you trust about this. Call a friend, family member or one of the groups listed below. If you don’t know who to talk to, call the Police.
  • People suffering family violence can apply to get a protection order. You should seek advice from a lawyer or one of the support groups listed below.
  • Protection orders are issued in the Family Court and give legal protection against family violence for the person who applies for it and their children.
  • A protection order names the person who is committing the abuse and clearly explains what they can and cannot do. For example, a protection order may state that the person must not damage or threaten to damage property.
  • In normal circumstances, a temporary protection order can be granted on the same day or within a few days after you apply for it.
  • A protection order may also help protect your home and property.
  • If the person does not obey the protection order then police can arrest them. The person will go to the District Court and could be ordered to pay a fine (money) or may go to prison.
  • Find out more about protection orders and the Domestic Violence Act
  • In New Zealand, there are strict domestic violence laws. For more information about these laws, start by reading the Domestic Violence Act 1995, or refer to the Family Court website.
  • Other agencies that can help you include the
    • Women's Refuge
    • Oranga Tamariki - Ministry for Children (telephone 0508 326 459) works with families to ensure children and young people are safe and live in an environment in which they thrive, and provides families with support to raise confident, secure children.
    • Stopping Violence Services
    • your lawyer
    • Victim Support (telephone 0800 842 846)
    • Rape Crisis (Rape Prevention Education)
    • Citizens Advice Bureaux (telephone 0800 367 222) a free service for anyone in New Zealand including visitors and international students
    • and many other government and community organisations.

Looking after your children in New Zealand

  • New Zealand law states all children and young people have the right to be safe and cared for.
  • It is important you look after your children so they are safe and don’t become victims of crime or get involved in crime.
  • In New Zealand, young children under the age of 14 have to be supervised at all times for their safety. Never leave a child under the age of 14 at home or in a car by themselves.
  • When in a car, children under the age of seven must be fastened into a special safety seat suitable for their age, size and weight.
  • If you are going out, ask a family member or friend – someone you trust – to look after your children. If you have someone looking after your children while you are at work or away from home, that person must be 14 years old or older.
  • Make sure your children are able to contact you or a trusted person at all times. For example, make sure they know your work or mobile phone telephone numbers.
  • If you think your child is a victim of crime or is involved in crime then you should talk to the police.
  • There are special police officers called ‘Youth Aid Officers’ who deal with young people involved in crime. They can help you consider the best ways to keep your children safe.
  • New Zealand Police also have special School Community Officers who work with teachers in schools to help teach young people about keeping safe.
  • You can talk to your school about what they teach to keep children safe.
  • During school holidays, try and involve your children in sport or other activities. Many community groups have holiday programmes to keep young people busy and entertained during school holidays.
  • Young people who are busy with sport or other positive activities are less likely to become involved in crime.


  • Trespassing is entering someone’s private property or place of work without permission.
  • Trespassing is a crime.
  • If someone is trespassing, they can be asked to leave or they can be given a trespass notice.
  • Anyone can be given a trespass notice, including children. For example, if someone has stolen something from a shop, the shop owner can give that person a trespass notice.
  • The trespass notice is a formal request to stay away from the property.
  • If a person ignores the trespass notice and tries to come onto the property, then police can be called to come and remove the person.
  • Police can arrest someone for trespassing.
  • A person can be fined up to $1000 or sent to prison for up to three months for trespassing.
  • A trespass notice can prevent someone from going onto the property for as long as two years.

Kidnapping and blackmail or extortion

Kidnapping, blackmail or attempts to kidnap or extort money are considered serious crimes in New Zealand. Kidnapping is the unlawful detention of a person without their consent. Blackmail is the use of threats to extort property (including money) or to compel a victim to behave in a particular way These are serious offences in New Zealand punishable by up to 14 years in prison. More than 70 percent of Kidnappings or blackmail/extortion reported to Police in New Zealand result in offenders being prosecuted.

Hate crime

New Zealand Police, and people in New Zealand generally, do not tolerate offences based on a person's race. These offences are also known as "hate" crime. Where such crimes are reported to Police they are vigorously investigated. Police work closely with representatives of ethnic communities and organisations like the Human Rights Commission to protect the rights and freedoms of all communities in New Zealand. If you are aware of racially motivated abuse or violence against members of your family or community you should report it.

Immigration fraud

It is your choice to use an immigration agent or representative and you are responsible for any documents provided to the Immigration Service by your agent or representative. The supply of false visas, permits and other documentation is fraud and Police treat this matter seriously. If you think someone has deliberately given you false immigration information or advice and you have paid for their service, then you should report this to the Police and the New Zealand Immigration Service.

Financial fraud

To avoid being tricked or cheated out of your money, Police advise dealing with well-known and respected financial institutions when borrowing or investing money. Keep credit cards, cash machine cards and identity numbers in a safe place. Do not give these identification numbers (PINs) to anyone. Always ask for identification from someone who wants to pay you for goods or services by cheque. If you think a person or a financial company is trying to cheat you, contact the Police. Read more on Cheque Fraud and Credit Card Fraud.

What to do...

If you are a victim of burglary

  • If you come home and find you have been burgled and you think the burglar may still be in your home, do not go into your home. Contact police immediately by telephoning 111 from another phone. See how to report a crime
  • If you think the burglar has left your home, then telephone or visit the nearest police station to report the burglary.
  • When you go to the police station to report the burglary you should receive written confirmation of your report. This is called a ‘Complaint Acknowledgement Form’. The form includes a file number and the name of the police officer dealing with your complaint.
  • Do not touch or move anything in your home that the burglar may have touched or moved because the police may need these things as evidence. For example, police will want to look for any fingerprints left by the burglar.
  • If you have home and contents insurance you should tell your insurance company that you have been burgled.
  • You will need the police file number when making an insurance claim after a burglary.
  • The following links provide good information about burglary in New Zealand and how to help prevent it:

If you are in a car crash

  • If you are involved in a car crash, it is very important to try and stay as calm as possible.
  • You must stop to see if anyone else is injured or if property is damaged.
  • If people are hurt, telephone 111 and ask for police and ambulance help. If you can’t telephone for help, then ask someone to telephone for you. Police will find out who was responsible for causing the crash.
  • Police may arrest a person if they caused a crash by breaking New Zealand’s driving laws.
  • In some less serious car crashes where no one is hurt, police will probably not come to the crash. But you must still report the crash to police.
  • If you are in a car crash, then by law, you must tell police about it within 24 hours of the crash.
  • If you have car insurance you should tell your insurance company that you have been in a car crash.
  • You will need the police file number when making an insurance claim after a car crash.
  • Give your name and address to the driver of any car that’s been damaged and to the owner of any property that’s been damaged. If other drivers are involved in the crash, try to find out whether they have insurance and which company they have insurance with.
  • If you can’t drive your car after the crash then you should protect it from any more loss or damage. For example, move the car to the side of the road and lock it. Take personal things from the car away with you.

If you are driving

  • New Zealand Police are responsible for making sure drivers obey New Zealand’s driving laws.
  • If someone breaks these driving laws they may have their licence or car taken off them. People may even go to prison.
  • You must be at least 16 years old and have a driving licence to drive in New Zealand.
  • You need a special motorcycle licence to ride a motorcycle.
  • Carry your driver licence with you at all times when driving.
  • Your car must have a current warrant of fitness (WoF) and registration.
  • You should study the Road Code which explains New Zealand’s driving rules.
  • When in a car, children under the age of seven must be in an approved safety seat according to their age, size and weight.
  • In New Zealand, you must not drive after drinking alcohol. You must not drive too fast and you must always wear your safety belt.
  • Every person in a car must wear a safety belt. This includes people in the back seats of a car.

If you are threatened for money or property

  • If a person threatens or intimidates you for money or property or forces you to behave in a particular way, then telephone police on 111.
  • If someone threatens or attempts to kidnap you, then telephone police on 111.
  • Police treat this type of crime very seriously and have a very good record of solving it.