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Otago Rural 2007 Calendar Year Statistics

Otago Rural 2007 Calendar Year Statistics
New Zealand Police Southern News Release
10:32am 1 April 2008

The Otago Rural Police Area is proud of the results achieved in the 2007 calendar year.

The Area, which covers Queenstown Lakes, Central Otago and Waitaki District Council areas, recorded a decrease of 626 crimes reported, which equates to a 9.4% decrease in recorded crime.

At the same time this area achieved a resolution rate of 58%, one of the highest in the country.

"These are stand out results, and I am truly proud of my team who have worked long and hard to achieve them," says Inspector Phil Jones, Area Commander for Otago Rural.

All crimes types with the exception of violent crime dropped. These decreases included:• Sexual Crimes decreased by 6 crimes to 32 - which is a 15.8% decrease• Drugs and antisocial crimes decreased by 185 crimes to 1372 - which is a 11.9% decrease • Dishonesty crimes decreased by 309 to 2181 - which is a 12.4% decrease• Property Damage crimes decreased by 179 to 1082 - which is a 14.2% decrease• Property Abuse crimes which include trespassing and Arms Act offences decreased by 37 to 365 - which is a 9.2% decrease• Administrative crimes which are mainly made up of breaches of Court bail decreased by 38 to 240 - which is a 13.7% decrease.

"The results are particularly pleasing when considered against a back drop of significant increases in population. The improvement in our Police Intelligence systems together with targeting resources against likely crime areas and offenders has seen this down swing in offending matched with the increase in crimes being solved," explains Inspector Jones.

The sole area of concern remained the increase in violent crimes. They have risen by 128 to 734 for the year, representing a 21.1% increase.

The main growth area is in grievous assaults, which increased 122.5% to 89.

"These crimes are almost without exception alcohol fuelled, and are a blight on our towns. They are happening most weekends, and present a significant risk to both our residents and also our attractiveness as a tourist destination. They are right across the Otago Rural Area." Inspector Phil Jones.

Otago Rural Police have focussed on the violence issue within the past year, and have implemented strategies including increased policing of licensed premises, increased prosecution of licensees for breaches of the Sale of Liquor Act, heightened patrolling around town centres and bars during the night time, strict curfew enforcement on offenders and increased liaison with the Liquor Industry. Collaborative work with the Councils has seen the implementation of Community Guardians in Oamaru, and soon to be implemented in Queenstown.

"Whilst this result in particular is a disappointment I am hopeful that the reduction in licensing hours in Queenstown and proposed liquor bans in Queenstown and Alexandra will assist in reducing this problem in the next year. However this is not merely a Police problem, the entire community must work together." Inspector Phil Jones.

In summary the results for the 2007 year are pleasing, and are a testament to the focus of local Police staff and their community partners. The violent crimes however are a clear reminder that there is still work to do," Inspector Phil Jones.


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