Police report a 7 percent increase in recorded crime in Nelson Bays in the 2009 calendar year, up from 9,030 recorded offences in 2008 to 9,648 in 2009. Over the same period the resolution rate dropped from 54.5 percent to 52.9 percent, but is still well above the national average of 47.8 percent.
The rise in total recorded crime has been driven by increases in two offence categories:
• Dishonesty – up by 15 percent from 3,812 to 4,370 recorded offences, and
• Violence – up by 7 percent from 1,199 to 1,284 recorded offences.
Nelson Bays Area Commander, Detective Inspector John Winter said the 7 percent increase in the total number of recorded violence offences has been driven almost entirely by an increase in recorded family violence, up 14%.
"The results are consistent with the national picture, where we have seen significant increases in recorded family violence offences since the roll-out of mandatory training to all front-line staff in 2007 and publicity campaigns about family violence," said Detective Inspector Winter.
Many people may now be reporting to Police family violence offences which in the past may not have come to Police attention. What these figures do tell us is that Police are dealing with more matters as family violence offences.
Detective Inspector Winter said Nelson Bays Police treat domestic violence very seriously and take a firm line on all situations to ensure the safety and welfare of all concerned. To assist with this, Police are working extremely closely with other Government Agencies in identifying vulnerable families, and ensuring all possible measures are in place to provide safety and assistance to them. The Criminal Investigation Branch continues to investigate serious allegations and 'High Risk' families and Community Section visit repeat offenders.
25 percent of those families requiring Police intervention have been subject to a domestic dispute in the previous 12 months. It is pleasing to see the community also has little tolerance of Family Violence and are quick to report it.
The Drugs and Anti-Social offence category increased by 2 percent compared to 2008, driven mainly by an increase in Cannabis offences (+98 offences). This was offset by a drop in Disorder offences (-79 offences).
"Nelson Bays Police acknowledge that a large amount of dishonesty offending occurs to allow the criminal concerned to support their drug or alcohol habit. Disorderly behaviour is also fuelled by drugs and alcohol. By taking a zero tolerance approach and focusing resources on the supply and possession of these substances police are able to mitigate further anti-social activity and reduce the harm to the community," said Detective Inspector Winter.
The decrease in Property Damage offences was driven entirely by Wilful Damage offences, which decreased by 45 offences from last year.
"Traditionally this type of crime reporting is high due to Police asking the public to report all damage, no matter how minor, so we can allocate resources to directly impact on the problem. The Richmond Community Patrol initiative between Community Members, Police and Tasman District Council is a major contributing factor to the reduction in reported damage in the Waimea area. Working closely with Police patrols in the weekend, they have become an extra set of eyes and ears for the deterrence, prevention and detection of offences.
Recorded Dishonesty offences increased 15 percent in 2009, driven mainly by increases in Burglary (+230 offences), Theft (+196 offences), and Car Conversion (+83 offences) offences. Due to the current high price for scrap metal, Burglaries and Thefts involving Scrap Metal, especially copper, have increased in Nelson Bays.
Teenagers supporting drug and alcohol habits have also contributed to the increase in recorded offending as they steal items, often difficult to identify, that they can trade for cash or drugs to support their habits. Both Rural and Urban addresses have had increases in reported offences attributed to several active groups.
Because a number of these offences have occurred to insecure properties by offenders being opportunistic, Police stress the importance of the public locking their vehicles and homes and using their common sense to deter criminal behaviour.
Media enquiries should be referred to District Commander, Superintendent Gary Knowles on 03 546 3848 or 027 452 3269.
Full details of the 2009 crime statistics are available at www.stats.govt.nz