Crime Statistics released today show that Waitematä District has experienced a 2.7 percent increase in recorded crime in 2009, compared to the previous year.
This equates to a 1.2 percent increase per head of population. The District’s population also rose over this same period.
Waitematä Police resolved just over 53.1 percent of recorded offences during the year, slightly up from 2008 and above the national average of 47.8 percent.
Within the total volume of recorded crime there are some specific offences that have increased whilst others have decreased.
The largest increase was in Administrative offences (up 43 percent).
Other increases include Violence offences (up 3 percent) and Dishonesty offences (up 2 percent). There was a small reduction (less than 1 percent) in Drugs and Antisocial offences in 2009, along with reductions in Property Damage and Property Abuse offences (both down 5 percent).
Waitematä District Commander, Superintendent Bill Searle said the figures reflect a population adjusted 1.2 percent increase in overall reported crime which is in line with expectations.
"It is pleasing to see a small reduction in anti-social offences, and a drop in property damage and property abuse offences. There has also been a small increase in violence and dishonesty offending which we believe in part reflects the difficult economic situation in the District that has existed over the last year.
The significant increase in Administrative Offences reflects the increase in the proactive detection of breaches of bail conditions through bail checks. This demonstrates Waitematä Police commitment to holding offenders accountable.”
The increase in Waitematä's Violence offences was driven entirely by an 11.5 percent increase in recorded family violence.
Waitematä's results are consistent with the national picture, where there have been 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.
Also, 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.
Improved reporting enables the Police, along with its key partners, to direct its resources into reducing crime.
“The small increase in violent offences reflects an increase in the reporting of family violence. We encourage victims of, and witnesses to, family violence to report these offences to police.
“Reducing actual family violence is a priority and we will continue to focus on investigating and preventing family violence this year.
"The resolution rates for crimes of violence are reassuring at 86.9 percent,” says Superintendent Searle.
Increases in Drugs offences (particularly Cannabis offences, which increased by 10 percent, and Drugs (New Drugs) offences, which increased by 16 percent) in Waitematä were offset in 2009 by reductions in Disorder offences (down 6 percent) and Family offences (down 20 percent), to give an overall slight reduction in the Drugs and Antisocial category.
“Drug offending and organised crime is one of the key priority areas for the District. The increase in reported drug offending is in part a reflection of our increased emphasis in this area.
"We have particularly focused on methamphetamine offending as part of the Regional strategy and will continue with this direction in the coming year. Police in the District are working closely with the Waitakere, North Shore and Rodney Councils to reduce the levels of violence and disorder in our communities.
“A vigorous approach to the enforcement of Liquor bans and bail breaches has also given District Police greater ability to prevent more serious offending,” Superintendent Searle said.
Dishonesty offences increased in Waitematä by 2 percent in 2009, with increases in Car Conversion (up 11 percent) and Burglary (up 5 percent). Over the same period, there was an 18 percent drop in Fraud offences.
“The increase in burglary is consistent with trends nationwide and we believe it in part reflects the poor economic situation in the District over the last year.
The District has successfully completed several operations focused on burglary resulting in the apprehension of a large number of offenders, and having a noticeable impact on burglary trends.
“It’s disappointing that road fatalities in the District increased markedly. This is also consistent with national trends. The public can expect to see a high police presence on all roads, highways, and motorways and they can expect to be stopped and breath tested.
“I acknowledge the commitment all my staff. We are determined to work with other Government, non government and community groups to make our communities safer,” said Superintendent Searle.
ENDS: Kevin Loughlin, Communications Manager, Waitematä Police District Headquarters, Phone: 09 488 9758. Mobile: 027 281 0271 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org