Strategies including strengthened community partnerships have helped with Wellington Police District's total recorded crime dropping 1.5 percent in the 12 months ending 30 June 2008.
The crime statistics released today show that a total of 44,441 offences were recorded during the period, 658 less than the previous year.
Wellington District Police resolved 45% of recorded offences, up from 43% on the 2006/07 period.
Superintendent Pieri Munro, Wellington Police District Commander, said dishonesty offending - traditionally the largest crime category - dropped 7.6 percent or 1838 offences from 24,326 to 22,488. There was a significant 25 percent decrease in car conversion and related offending and a 6 percent drop in theft.
There was more property damage related offending reported (up by 12 percent from 5450 to 6100 offences); increases in drugs and anti-social offending (up 8 percent from 5243 to 5677 offences), and more violent crime (up 3 percent from 6546 to 6736 offences).
Two of the five Areas in the district recorded decreases in overall reported crime:
• Wellington City Area dropped 5.3 percent - or 971 offences from 18,176 to 17,205 offences • Kapiti Mana dropped 1.9 percent - or 168 offences from 8817 to 8,649 offences.
• Wairarapa recorded a stable picture with a marginal 1 percent rise in crime - up 39 offences from 4081 to 4120 offences • Upper Hutt went up 4.7 percent or 175 offences from 3705 to 3,880 offences • Lower Hutt went up 2.6 percent or 267 offences from 10,320 to 10,587 offences.
Four of the five Areas increased their resolution rates while one remained stable:
• Wairarapa went up from 50.0 percent to 52.1 percent • Wellington City Area went up from 40.4 percent to 42.4 percent • Lower Hutt went up from 40.9 percent to 42.3 percent • Upper Hutt went up from 46.1 percent to 47.1 percent • Kapiti Mana dropped marginally from 48.4 percent to 48.2 percent.
"While one crime is one too many, in the real world a 1.5 percent drop in crime for the District is great news for everyone," Superintendent Munro said. "Police strategies with information, enforcement, partnerships and community engagement as the focus are making a real difference in promoting confident, safe and secure communities.
"Our efforts have been strengthened by these closer ties with councils, businesses, other agencies and the public on crime prevention initiatives.
"The availability of security cameras, safety campaigns, improvements in environmental design, the presence of council security staff, community patrols, Neighbourhood Support Groups share in this success."
Superintendent Munro said family violence remains a concern with the increase in total violent crime driven by more reported family related assaults.
"The increases are not entirely unexpected as we, along with other agencies, are putting significant effort into encouraging less tolerance of violence in the home.
"We've introduced new training to frontline staff in family violence investigation and risk assessment; worked in tandem with partner agencies targeting at risk families; and appointed experienced detective sergeants as family violence coordinators in all areas to supplement the work already being down by other staff work," he said.
"High profile media campaigns are also helping to encourage people to report family violence - offending which may in the past not have come to police attention.
"I'm confident that some of the strategies now in place are beginning to reshape attitudes and tolerance to violence and alcohol related crime. The work around strengthening families, public awareness campaigns, encouraging women to report violence and making offenders accountable for their actions are positive steps. We'll see more of this in the future."
Disorder offences, frequently fuelled by alcohol, rose 7.8% from 2,624 in 2006/07 to 2,829 in 2007/08.
Council public liquor bans, which have been extended in many areas in the last few months, are a positive step, so too is the liaison with the hospitality industry.
Superintendent Munro said people should be able to enjoy their night out, but not to the detriment of the enjoyment or safety of others.
"Intoxication, especially amongst young people, affects their decision making and makes them more vulnerable to crime, either as victims or offenders."
Superintendent Munro said that while police are pleased with overall crime trends, there is no room for complacency.
Additional resources are being used in the next 12 months to build on existing community partnerships. A new four-person problem solving team is planned for Wellington City Area; a community sergeant and two extra community constables planned for Kapiti; a community sergeant and extra community constable for Lower Hutt; a constable with a schools and youth focus in Upper Hutt and two sergeants positions at the wider District level concentrating on the new created community road policing and Ethnic portfolios.
For further information can Annie Coughlan 04 4748856