Police focusing on crime prevention
Tue, 02 Oct 2012 8:14a.m.
Police say an increase in drug crime figures is the result of targeting drug dealers but cannot say what is behind a rise in reported sexual assaults.
Police national crime figures were released yesterday showing the number of crimes continues to drop, following the trend of at least the last 20 years.
There were 394,522 recorded offences in the year to June, down 5.2 percent on the previous year.
Deputy Police Commissioner Viv Rickard says the police statistics are robust, but there is more to the job than recording numbers.
“For us this isn’t
about the stats, we’re all about reducing the number of victims in New Zealand,”
he told Firstline this morning.
Mr Rickard says the
police have gotten smarter in how they use resources and paying more attention
to preventing crime.
Police say that actually means a 5.9 percent decrease in crimes per 10,000 people because of population growth.
It is the lowest number of offences in any fiscal year since 1988 to1989, and the lowest crime rate per head of population since before electronic records began.
Police also say they resolved 47.6 percent of crimes, up from 47.3 percent.
Homicides, assaults, abductions, kidnaps and harassment, blackmail, extortion and robbery were all down, but sexual assault and drug offences bucked the trend.
Sexual assaults were up 2.6 percent to 3312 and illicit drug offences rose 5.1 percent to 22,052 offences.
But Mr Rickard said with that figure, recorded offences for drug use and possession actually fell 5.6 percent.
"The increases in this category was driven by a 72.2 percent increase in offences for dealing and trafficking, which reflects proactive targeting of drug dealers."
Overall, Mr Rickard said the figures indicate that New Zealand was becoming a safer place to live, which was encouraging for police.
"I believe we are seeing some traction from our Prevention First approach, particularly against prolific drug offenders, people who deface our public spaces with graffiti and those who create public disorder."
Canterbury had the largest decrease in crime - down 11.7 percent - which was put down to people not wanting to report minor offices following last year's deadly earthquake.
However, Auckland had a 5.4 per cent rise in crime while Tasman recorded a 1.5 percent rise.
All other districts saw a drop in crime.
Breakdown of police crime stats:
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