Wednesday, 1 April 2009 - 10:11am |

Canterbury Crime Stats - 12 months ended December 31 2008

3 min read

Crime statistics released today show that Canterbury District Police resolved more offences in the 12 months ended 31 December 2008, than the previous year, increasing the crime resolution rate from 41% to 42%.

Statistics also show that Canterbury District experienced a seven percent increase in recorded crime for the year. Recorded offences rose from 47,853 in 2007 to 51,340 in 2008.

Recorded Violence rose 10% in 2008. District Commander Superintendent Dave Cliff says that the rise in total recorded Violence has been driven by increases in two offence classes.

"During 2008, Police commenced Operation Crusade to increase visible police presence, which has resulted in an increase in Beat Patrol within central Christchurch. This has ensured that Police are available to receive assault complaints and deal with them more quickly when they occur," he says.

"Police remain concerned about the high number of assaults that are alcohol related with either the victim, offender or both under the influence of alcohol at the time of the offence."

  • Minor Assaults - up by 13% from 1,531 recorded offences in 2007 to 1,732 in 2008, and  • Serious Assaults - up by 9% from 1,429 to 1,563 recorded offences.

Two factors dominating the increase in recorded Drugs and Anti-Social offences are Sale of Liquor Act offences and Disorder offences, which rose 27% and 12% respectively. However, Drug offences, particularly cannabis and new drugs, decreased over the same period with 65 and 55 less offences in 2008 respectively.

Superintendent Cliff says that in early 2008, Canterbury Police announced a 'no tolerance' approach to alcohol related violence and disorder.

"This has resulted in an increase in the number of individuals apprehended for disorderly behaviour and liquor ban breaches," he sai

"Similarly, in recognition of the major part that intoxication plays in generating crime, greater enforcement of licensed premises that break the law by selling liquor to minors and those who are intoxicated has also resulted in an increased focus by Police.

"We remain concerned about off licence sales in particular, where individuals drink to excess and then migrate into the central city and become involved in fights and other disorder," he says.

Recorded Dishonesty offences increased 5% in 2008. This increase resulted mainly from a 16% increase in Burglary offences, which rose from 6,049 recorded offences in 2007 to 7,033 in 2008.

"Police are concerned at the increasing number of burglaries, particularly of private homes and ran a series of operations targeting burglary. Plans for 2009 are already in place to continue these operations," says Superintendent Cliff.

"We continue to work with Age Concern and Neighbourhood Support to highlight the risks people face by failing to adequately secure their homes. Unfortunately a high percentage of homes remain vulnerable to burglary because of the failure to take simple precautions such as locking and securing doors and windows. Car owners are also advised not to leave attractive items such as GPS style devices and laptops in plain view within their vehicles. Simple and basic precautions will help reduce the number of crime victims."

The increase in Property Damage offences resulted mainly from a 10% increase in offences related to Destruction of Property. Wilful Damage offences has 337 more offences in 2008 and there has been a marked increase in Arson offences, which rose by 83% from 500 recorded offences in 2007 to 913 in 2008.

"In conjunction with the Christchurch City Council, better reporting mechanisms to capture damage caused by graffiti have been put in place and that has resulted in an increased level of reported property damage. Police have also formed a strong alliance with the NZ Fire Service to better capture data on minor fires that have been set. Arson remains a concern given its potential to cause such serious risk to the public."

The 33% increase in Administrative offences was driven mainly by 'Failure to Answer Bail' offences, which increased by 483 from 372 recorded offences in 2007 to 855 in 2008.

Superintendent Cliff says that as part of the 'no tolerance' approach, Police have ensured that those offenders who fail to comply with bail requirements are held accountable.

"In December Canterbury Police ran Operation Justice resulting in the arrests of over 200 offenders who were wanted on warrant. That approach will continue this year with any offender failing to answer bail being actively pursued until they are located and arrested."


NB Media Supt Cliff is available to speak with media at 11am this morning, Christchurch Central. Please advise M Leask if you are attending.