Crime statistics released today show that Central Police District resolved more offences in the 12 months ended 31 December 2008, than the previous year, increasing the crime resolution rate from 47.7% to 49.0%.
Superintendent Russell Gibson, Central District Commander, said that the statistics for the resolution of offences reflect the commitment that Police make to victims of crime, and that in a large proportion of cases offenders are held to account for their actions.
"There have been some major successes reported in the media, but the untold story is that on a daily basis police staff are working with victims and holding offenders to account to make our communities safer," he said.
Statistics also show that Central Police District experienced a 1.5 percent increase in recorded crime for the year. Recorded offences rose from 32,760 to 33,246. This modest result needs to be viewed in context - while crime has increased it is still very much lower than it was in the mid to late 1990's.
Within the total volume of recorded crime, some types of offences have increased, whilst others have decreased. Increases included Sexual offences, which rose 19 percent, Drug and Anti-Social offences, which rose by 12 percent, and Violence offences which rose 6 percent. Dishonesty offences continued its decrease from last year reducing by almost 3 percent.
"The 6 percent increase in the total number of recorded Violence offences has been driven mainly by an increase in recorded family violence assaults. The results are consistent with the national picture, where we have seen significant increases in recorded family violence offences following the national roll-out of training to all front-line staff in family violence investigation and risk assessment.
"Media campaigns over recent years have also 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 at all.
"What these figures do tell us is that Police are dealing with more matters as family violence offences."
The increase in Sexual offences was driven entirely by the increase in Sexual Violation offences which rose from 58 offences in 2007 to 108 in 2008. While these events have recorded a significant increase they are still infrequent events but are the focus of considerable Police resources. Too often this offending is associated with people putting themselves in risky situations, such as being intoxicated, Superintendent Gibson said.
The factors dominating the increase in recorded Drugs and Antisocial offences are the Sale of Liquor Act offences (+28%), Cannabis offences (+23%), and Disorder offences (+8%). Many of these offences are recorded proactively by Police to intervene early to prevent more serious offending or to curb the supply of substances to at risk groups.
"Too much of Police's work on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings is still driven by people affected by alcohol. Over 70% of offenders dealt with Police during these hours are assessed by Police as being affected by alcohol to some extent. These people not only come to the attention of Police but also are over-represented in Accident and Emergency treatments through to causing work for the Council's clean-up crews. Police have a low tolerance and will intervene in behaviour that could lead to violence."
The number of Dishonesty offences continues its decrease. In 2008 there were 477 recorded Dishonesty offences per 10,000 population compared with 492 the year before and 698 in 1999. Car Conversion, Theft, and Burglary offences reduced 6%, 5%, and 3% respectively. However, police often find that people are not taking basic security precautions.
Fraud offences increased 51% from 523 recorded offences in 2007 to 792 offences in 2008. Fraud offenders can often be extremely prolific and their offending can often impact on many victims.
Superintendent Russell Gibson
Central District Headquarters
(06) 351 2500
The Central Police District incorporates the Territorial Local Authorities of New Plymouth, Stratford, South Taranaki, Wanganui, Rangitikei, Ruapehu, Manawatu, Tararua, Palmerston North and Horowhenua. Policing services in the District are managed by six Area Commanders who will be providing more detailed information on the crime statistics from their Area perspective.
Area Contacts are:
New Plymouth Inspector Fiona Prestidge 06 - 759 5501
Taranaki Rural (Hawera) Inspector Frank Grant
06 - 278 0260
Wanganui Inspector Duncan Macleod 06 - 349 0600
Ruapehu (Taumarunui) Inspector Steve Mastrovich
07- 895 8119
Palmerston North Inspector Pat Handcock 06 - 351 3600
Palmerston North Rural Inspector Mark Harrison 06 - 351 2531