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Victims Of Crime Urged To Report It To Police

Media release 29 March 2004

VICTIMS OF CRIME BEING URGED TO REPORT IT TO POLICE

Manukau mayor Sir Barry Curtis is urging people who've been victims of crime in Manukau to report it to the Police. "The more people who come forward, the more likely it is that the Police will be given more resources and funding to solve crime, and reduce the future crime rate."

According to the New Zealand National Survey of Crime Victims 2001 (2003), only 15% of all national crime is being reported to Police. This is made up of 23% of robberies, 12% of sexual victimisation, 18% of domestic violence and 25% of violence by a person known to the victim actually being reported to Police.

Sir Barry says if victims don't report a crime it can't be solved, and there is a definite co-relation between the amount of funding and the clearance rate.

"I have recently written to the government to try to get more funding for Counties Manukau police. I believe the region is under-funded, but under-reporting is definitely an issue because the official figures underestimate the level of the problem not just in Manukau, but right across the country."

The survey revealed that the crimes which people mostly report were vehicle thefts & burglaries (91% & 68% respectively).

Many reasons were given for not reporting including victims not thinking it was worth reporting as Police could do little to nothing about it, a belief that the victims could deal with it themselves, or that the victimisation was a personal or family matter.

The study found that generally

" higher income groups are more likely to report victimisation " the younger a victim was the less likely they are to report it " Maori and Pacific Island victims of stranger violence were less likely to report crime " Maori victims of property crime were the least likely group to report such victimisation.

Manukau City has a high proportion of low-income families and young people as well as Maori & Pacific Island people.

Community safety has recently emerged in Manukau as the number one issue of public concern. This subject covers areas from graffiti vandalism to violent crime and follows an intense period of media coverage in recent years of selected high profile crimes within the area.

There is an apparent public perception that crime is on the rise even though the actual crime rate in Manukau has fallen, and the police clearance rate has increased.

As a result Manukau City Council has adopted crime prevention measures as a priority for the future. It will involve greater advocacy with the police and other agencies, prioritising initiatives against burglary, family violence, theft of/from vehicles & violent crime and utilise tools such as security cameras & other appropriate urban design methods to reduce crime.

Also for the first time the Auckland region's councils are working on a combined programme with Police.

Manukau City Council and the Auckland Board of Management for Police are leading the involvement of council & Police teams in the Regional COPS Project ("COPS" stands for Community-Oriented Policing Strategy) which involves Manukau, Auckland, North Shore and Waitakere City Councils contributing $25,000 each towards supporting the project.

Until recently each council worked independently on projects with Police but this initiative begins an effort where they will work together to develop an action plan for regional crime prevention/reduction projects. A major focus will be targeting alcohol and other substance abuses, along with researching regional crime and safety issues.

Sir Barry Curtis says, "The COPS initiative is a positive step towards fighting crime in the Auckland region by having agencies such as the Police and councils working more collaboratively together. However the public have a big role to play and it is vital for them to be vigilant and report crime & suspicious activity."

90% of all offences are linked to alcohol, ranging from public drunkenness, driving offences to rape and sexual assault. Property theft is the largest single category of offence reported in Counties Manukau and the worst spots for crime incidents are alleyways, carparks and public toilets.

Ends


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