Criminal offences dropped by 3.2 % in the last financial year according to figures released today through Statistics New Zealand.
There were 353,564 recorded offences from July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014 compared to 365,185 in the 2012/13 financial year. When adjusted for population growth this means criminal offences per head of population dropped by 4.1 %.
Assistant Commissioner Grant Nicholls said that today’s results continue a positive trend in crime reduction.
“Since the 2008/2009 fiscal year we have seen a 20 % drop in recorded criminal offences,” Mr Nicholls said. “In real terms this means there are far fewer victims of crime than there were five years ago.”
“These results are a credit to our staff who have dedicated themselves to implementing our Prevention First strategy.
“We are focused on reducing victimisation so New Zealanders feel safer in their homes and safer in their communities.”
Mr Nicholls says the introduction of the 12 District Command Centres (DCC’s) and the National Command and Co-ordination Centre (NCCC) at Police National Headquarters have made Police more efficient and effective at deploying resources.
“The DCCs are giving us a real-time picture of what is happening in our community,” Mr Nicholls said.
“This assists Police in being in the right place at the right time to prevent criminal offending from occurring.”
“However this is not a time to be complacent. There are still far too many victims of crime in New Zealand and Police will continue to work hard to reduce offending even further.”
Nine of the twelve Police districts recorded decreases in recorded crime. Bay of Plenty District recorded the biggest reduction at 11.7 %, followed by Canterbury at 8.6 % and Auckland and Southern Districts at 5 %.”
The largest increase was in Waitemata District where criminal offending rose by 3.3 %. However the district also enjoyed strong population growth so per head of population offending only rose by 1.6%.
In terms of criminal categories homicide and related offences dropped by 16.7 %, public order offences fell by 25.5 %, property damage offences were down by 10.1 % and illicit drug offences were down 10.2 %.
The decrease in public order offences can in part be attributed to the effect of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012. The legislation has only been in force since December 2013 but early indications are that it is having a positive impact by reducing alcohol related offending.
In contrast abduction, harassment and other related offences against a person rose by 13 %, unlawful entry with intent / burglary / break and enter increased marginally by 0.8 % and sexual assault and related offences was up 0.4 %.
The national offence resolution rate decreased to 42.3% in 2013/14; however the resolution rate for serious criminal offences remains high.
“Our focus remains on directing resources towards the offences that cause the most harm to our communities,” Mr Nicholls said.
“Police are concerned that there has been rise in sexual and related offences and an increase in abduction and harassment offences.”
For more information contact Kevin Sinnott on 021 192 2917
A full copy of all the crime statistics plus a document containing Frequently Asked Questions is available via this link.
A new monthly crime dataset will soon be launched on the Statistics NZ website.
The Recorded Crime Victimisation Statistics (RCVS) will include more detailed and useful information about victims and crime including age, ethnicity, and gender of victims. They will also provide insight into demographic attributes of victims including the relationship between victim and offender. RCVS will provide better information and a more detailed picture of intimate partner violence, child assaults (physical & sexual) & elder abuse.
The new statistics are counted differently to current official statistics and are not comparable.
Under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act the penalty for a Breach of Liquor Ban is an infringement notice which is not included in the official crime statistics.