Police has today (19 June) released a new publication that provides a snapshot of Police data often asked about by the public.
Our Data – You Asked Us covers the 2018 calendar year and is the first report that proactively shares answers to common data requests made under the Official Information Act.
“Police is committed to being accessible and available to all,” says Mark Evans, Police’s Deputy Chief Executive Service Delivery.
“Our Data – You Asked Us fits within our strategy to increase the public’s trust and confidence in Police simply by making the data we often get asked about more accessible and easier to understand.
“It’s also an opportunity to give context to this data and tell the public about the varied work of Police in New Zealand communities.”
Our Data – You Asked Us is organised into the largest areas of demand that Police responds to: family harm, mental health, youth, road policing, and organised crime and gangs. It shows how high quality data and insights are essential to the long-term strategy and everyday actions of Police.
Mr Evans says tackling the key areas covered in this report is essential to Police’s mission to make New Zealand the safest country.
“Our Data – You Asked Us highlights the actions we’re taking to address issues in these key areas of demand, as well as the importance of data and evidence our approach to policing,” he says.
“With accurate and up-to-date information, our officers and staff are equipped to make informed decisions that effectively prevent harm in our communities and grow the public’s trust and confidence in our Police service,” says Mr Evans.
As part of Police’s focus on Evidence-Based Policing (EBP) and commitment to being accessible and available to all, Police launched policedata.nz in 2016. This new report supplements the portal, which has a vast amount of up-to-date Police data readily available online.
“Thousands of New Zealanders have been onto policedata.nz to access the latest data and statistics from Police. Our Data – You Asked Us supplements this and the other ways we provide information, which ensure we are an accessible and transparent police service.”
Our Data – You Asked Us was developed by Police’s Evidence-Based Policing Service Centre. The Centre opened in March this year and was set up to embed the principles of EBP into Police by conducting and curating research that enables better, informed decision making.
Police will provide a more detailed breakdown of statistics in Police’s Annual Report, due out in October.
Our Data – You Asked Us is available here: www.police.govt.nz/about-us/publication/our-data-you-asked-us
Why has Police decided to produce this report? Police has produced Our Data – Your Asked Us as part of its strategy to build the public’s trust and confidence in Police through increased transparency and accessibility to Police data. It is based on the most frequent data requests made by members of the public under the Official Information Act and is informed by the library of regularly updated Police data also available on policedata.nz. Our Data – You Asked Us ultimately seeks to enable the public to better understand and appreciate the demands and varied work of Police in New Zealand communities, building trust and confidence in Police services, and ensuring everyone in New Zealand is safe and feels safe.
Does this data help Police as well? Police strives to take every opportunity to prevent harm in our communities. Taking an evidence-based approach to policing, New Zealand Police focuses its efforts on the areas that have the biggest positive impact in our communities and for our staff. The data in this report, as well as other evidence and insights, helps inform our constables and staff to make decisions every day that prevent harm and keep everyone in New Zealand safe.
Are all the key topics in this report – family harm, mental health, youth, road policing, organised crime and gangs – top priorities for Police? Our Data – You Asked Us is organised according to the largest areas of demand that Police responds to. Family harm, mental health, youth, road policing, and organised crime and gangs are all priorities for Police, and are also areas often asked about by members of the public. Tackling these areas is essential to achieving Police’s mission for New Zealand to be the safest country; by preventing crime and victimisation, targeting and catching offenders, and delivering a more responsive community-focused Police service.
How many requests under the Official Information Act (OIA) does Police get each year? Police received 28,702 requests for information under the OIA in 2018. Police receives the most OIA requests out of all government agencies by a large margin; almost 10 times more than Corrections, which has the second-most requests.
What does Police get asked about under the Official Information Act? Police is a very high profile organisations and its operations cover a huge range of activities in the public interest. A lot of requests come from the media, but Police also receives many from private individuals with an interest. As well as recent statistics and information – from national figures to a very local level – Police is also regularly asked for information about old cases and historic events.
Is this Police’s Annual Report? Our Data – You Asked Us is a new official publication from New Zealand Police, supplementing other regular reports available to the public at www.police.govt.nz/about-us/publications/general-reports. It is does not replace Police’s Annual Report, which presents what we had planned to do and what we actually did over the year.
Will this be an annual release? It is intended that a new version will be released each year. Every update will summarise data and OIA requests from the previous calendar year (1 January to 31 December).
Despite all the stats, how is Police really performing? Police has targets to reduce road deaths, the number of crime victimisations, the extent of reoffending by Māori, the amount of cash and assets seized from gangs/criminals, and the level of trust in confidence in Police. Specific information about what Police is doing and how Police is performing in these key areas is available in the Annual Report here: https://www.police.govt.nz/about-us/publications/corporate/annual-report
How can the public can get more data or statistical information from Police? Our Data – You Asked Us contains an overview of commonly sought Police statistics and data. The most comprehensive and up-to-date data and reports are readily available at policedata.nz. The public can further request research data access or other information under the OIA.
What is Evidence-Based Policing? Evidence-Based Policing (EBP) is an internationally-recognised method of making decisions around ‘what works’ in policing. EBP ensures Police’s strategy, operations and tactics are based on the best and most current available research. Data, as shown in Our Data – You Asked Us, is essential to Police’s evidence-based approach and helps inform Police officers and staff to make decisions that achieve the best outcomes for everyone in New Zealand.
What is the Evidence-Based Policing Service Centre? The Evidence-Based Policing Service Centre was established in December 2018 and opened in March 2019. It is located in Wellington and brings together specialist units within Police (such as Performance and Research Insight, Implementation and Evaluation, and the Innovation Centre) with expert external partners, including the Institute of Environmental Science and Research, the University of Waikato, and Vodafone. Its purpose is to embed EBP into Police by conducting and curating research that enables better, informed decision making. Find out more here.