Thursday, 1 April 2010 - 9:56am |

Waikato Police District Crime stats calendar year 2009

3 min read

Embargoed till 10am Thursday 01 April 2010

Waikato Police are encouraging the public to utilise a number of new initiatives to help Police in turning the tide following an increase in reported crime over the past year.

District Commander, Superintendent Allan Boreham said crime statistics released today show a 10% increase in recorded crime for the year ending 31 December 2009 compared to the previous year.

"This is disappointing but we're hard at work trying to rectify this together with the community and partner agencies.

"Over the past 12 months we've seen the introduction of the new national confidential crimeline, Crimestoppers. While across the District a number of new rural and urban Neighbourhood Support Groups have been established which act as extra eyes and ears for the Police out there in the community."

Mr Boreham said Waikato Police introduced a number of new initiatives over the past year from the Melville Community Policing Team in Hamilton through to the Shop Watch initiative in Thames.

"But for any of these developments to be effective we need to hear about suspicious behaviour taking place in a timely manner."

Waikato Police resolved 46.5% of recorded offences in the year ended 31 December 2009, compared to 49% the previous year.

Within the total volume of recorded crime, some types of offences have increased, whilst others have decreased.

Violence offences increased 23%, Drugs and Antisocial offences increased by 18%, and Dishonesty offences increased 10% in 2009. Property damage offences decreased by 8% while sexual offending reduced by 18%.

Mr Boreham said the Waikato experienced 1014 more violent offences recorded, with 834 of these taking place in the home.

"This tells us our focus on working with partner agencies to increase the level of reporting incidents of family violence while working to reduce the number of actual incidents is the correct one.

"Our figures remain consistent with the national picture, where we have seen significant increases in recorded family violence offences since the national roll-out of training to all front-line staff in family violence investigation and risk assessment."

Mr Boreham said media campaigns over recent years have encouraged reduced tolerance of family violence. Many people may now be reporting to Police family violence offences which in the past may not have come to Police attention.

In the Drugs and Antisocial offence category, there were increases in Drugs offences, particularly those relating to Cannabis (up 27%). There was also a 54% increase in Breach of Liquor Ban offences.

"Reducing drug offending remains a major focus within our District particularly focusing on the involvement of Organised Criminal Groups in the illicit drugs trade. The overall social cost of illegal substances is such that we will continue to work with partner agencies to address this issue.

"In terms of addressing Antisocial behaviour liquor bans are one of our most effective tools in nipping potential trouble in the bud be that in Hamilton's CBD or at summer holiday hotspots and we will continue to work with councils to gauge the effectiveness of the bans," said Mr Boreham.

Dishonesty offences increased by 10% from 16,389 to 18,084 in 2009. These offences include Burglary, which returned to 2007 levels increasing by 18%, and Theft, which increased by 14%. However, Fraud offences dropped by 30%, to some degree offsetting increases seen in other Dishonesty offences.

"Without a doubt reducing the number of victims from dwelling burglary is the number one priority for our staff in the Waikato. But to do this we need everyone to contribute to reducing the risk.

"It's a case of getting back to basics, make a point of getting to know your neighbours, don't leave doors and windows unlocked and join your local Neighbourhood Support Network. If you see something amiss call Police or if for some reason you don't feel comfortable doing that then ring Crimestoppers and remain anonymous on 0800 555111, the key being making that call," said Mr Boreham.