Crime drops by 7.4% in the 2012/2013 financial year
Crime drops by 7.4% in the 2012/2013 financial year
Tuesday, 1 October 2013 - 10:49am
Criminal offences dropped by 7.4 % in the last financial year according to figures released today by Statistics New Zealand.
In real terms this means that there were far fewer victims of crime in New Zealand with 365,185 recorded offences in the 2012/13 financial year compared to 394,522 in the 2011/12 financial year.
The 7.4% drop is even more significant given that the population grew by 0.5%. This means per head of population offending dropped by 7.9% in 2012/13.
“Police are delighted that there were far fewer victims of crime in New Zealand in the last financial year,” said Deputy Commissioner Viv Rickard.
“That's our core business and these statistics show that Police's Prevention First focus is paying dividends. The stated goal of this strategy is to reduce total crime by 13% by the end of the 2014/15 financial year. The 7.4% reduction in 2012/13 is a significant step to achieving this goal,” Mr Rickard said.
“Police want all New Zealanders to feel safe in their homes and in their communities. We are deploying staff more efficiently and pro-actively to ensure Police are in the right place at the right time to prevent crime from occurring.
“The figures are a credit to our staff who are committed to making New Zealand communities safer.”
Mr Rickard said recent significant technological changes including the introduction of mobile devices for front-line staff is also having a major effect on crime prevention.
“We are receiving positive feedback from staff about the effectiveness of our mobility programme and we know it is making Police more visible,” Mr Rickard said.
“That makes our communities feel safer and will hopefully translate to even greater crime reduction in the future.”
Ten of the twelve Police districts recorded decreases in recorded crime. Auckland District recorded the biggest reduction at 16.8%, followed by Wellington at 13.6% and Waitematä at 13.3%.
Recorded crime in the Canterbury Police District grew by 5.4% but remains well below pre-earthquake levels. The 42,722 offences recorded in the 2012/13 financial year were 20.5% lower than the number of offences committed in the 2009/10 financial year.
“Our challenge in Canterbury is to maintain the positive gains we've made in the post-earthquake environment through proactive policing and a focus on crime prevention,” Mr Rickard said.
In terms of criminal categories unlawful entry and burglary dropped by 10.1%, theft reduced by 9.2%, robbery, extortion and related offences were down 8.2%, property damage was down 6.1% and fraud, deception and related offences fell by 5.1%.
In contrast Dwelling Assaults rose by 1% with 25,167 offences in the 2012/13 financial year as opposed to 24,941 in 2011/12
Family Violence statistics have not been included in the official statistics since the 2011 calendar year. (See note below) However Mr Rickard said the Dwelling Assaults category does provide one indicator of family violence that occurs in the home.
“Family violence continues to be a serious problem in New Zealand,” Mr Rickard said. “Police have made many improvements to the way we work with families suffering from violence.”
“We will continue to work to enhance our service to these families and strive to bring offenders to account.”
Sexual assault offences also rose by 10.8 % in the 2012/13 financial year but Mr Rickard said this is likely to be a result of greater trust and confidence in Police rather than a spike in offending.
“We believe that historically sexual violence is under-reported to authorities,” Mr Rickard said.
“Police are heartened that victims of this type of crime are coming forward and we want to assure them that police take all complaints of sexual violence seriously.”
There was also a 20.6% drop in illicit drug offences in the 2012/13 financial year. Most of this reduction was in cannabis cultivation and possession. There were increases in several dealing categories including conspiring to deal methamphetamine.
“Our intelligence indicates that the price of methamphetamine remains high but steady which indicates that supply is stable,” Mr Rickard said.
“Unfortunately methamphetamine is not going away. Police will continue to commit resources to disrupt supply and reduce the harm these drugs cause.”
Mr Rickard said Police will continue to focus on the Prevention First strategy to reduce criminal offending even further.
“It is really heartening to see our crime rate is dropping but New Zealand communities can be assured there will be no complacency.”
Note: Family Violence statistics have not been included in the official statistics since the 2011 calendar year. The official crime statistics are the result of counting each offence as it is recorded. People are charged with offences such as male assaults female, grievous assault, sexual assault, harassment and many others. Some of these offences are the result of family violence but in some cases they are not.
Police are working on a robust set of Family Violence data that will provide a more accurate picture of family violence. When this model is operational the data will be publicly available.