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Recorded crime up slightly in Northland

Recorded crime up slightly in Northland

Northland, 1 April 2014 - Crime statistics released today show that recorded crime in Northland was up by 1.5 percent in the 2013 calendar year. A total of 15,588 offences were recorded for 2013, compared to 15,355 for 2012.

Acting Northland District Commander Superintendent John Price says it is a small increase from the previous year, but it is still a concern to Police that crime has increased as it means we have more victims in our community.

"Our focus is reducing the number of victims and ensuring that people do not become re-victimised. We work closely with people who have been the victims of crime, especially repeat victims and give them the tools to help stop the offending against them. Often these people have been victims of crime such as family violence.

Much of the increase in crime can be attributed to an increase in dishonesty offending such as burglary (up by 14.9 percent), motor vehicle theft (up by 18 percent), receiving (up by 17.3 percent) and theft (up by 12 percent).

Mr Price says Northland Police has recognised this as a problem for the district and has taken measures to reduce dishonesty offending.

"This is a priority for us and we are taking action to reduce burglary and theft. Actions include targeting our top offenders through bail checks, increased visibility of staff in areas with high numbers of burglary and theft, and rostering staff to beat demand."

Mr Price says Northland Police set up a District Command Centre (DCC) last year.

Each day the DCC looks at all crime across the district and then deploys staff accordingly.

"We treat priority matters with urgency, but we also need the community to help us. It is everyone's responsibility to stop crime, so when you see suspicious activity, report it to the Police."

Mr Price says the recent police operation targeting a crime ring in Whangärei involved in burglary and vehicle theft is testament to the success of these tactics.

"Since that operation was carried out we have seen a noticeable drop in burglaries in the area."

Although dishonesty offending increased, violent crimes and illicit drug offences have dropped.

Assaults dropped by 4.3 percent, sexual assaults dropped by 17.4 percent, robbery dropped by 13.5 percent, disorderly conduct dropped by 23.9 percent and illicit drug offences dropped by 26 percent.

Last year there was an increase in sexual offending due to a small number of offenders committing several offences.

"Since then the community has been reporting this type of offending to Police, which demonstrates they have trust and confidence in us to investigate thoroughly."

In terms of the drop in illicit drug offences, Police are targeting organised crime and drugs and are using a number of interventions on priority offenders.

"We are also working with other agencies to target the assets of these people. This removes one of their main motivations for being involved in the illicit drug trade."

Mr Price says it's pleasing to see that violent offending has decreased.

"Violence against any person is abhorrent and the social cost to the community is high."

"Police have placed a focus on preventing this crime through working with victims, holding offenders to account"

Mr Price says Police and its partner agencies work with at risk families to ensure these families are receiving the support they need.

"Alcohol is one of the key factors in offending. In the last 12 months we have concentrated on increasing foot patrols. By putting more staff on the beat we have been able to focus on hotspots where offending such as disorderly behaviour occurs."

Mr Price says ultimately with all crime, putting an emphasis on preventing it in the first place is the key operating strategy for Police.

"We have staff, such as Area Prevention Teams and Neighbourhood Policing Teams, dedicated to preventing crime. However, all our staff carry out prevention activities with the aim of having have fewer victims and making our communities safe."

ENDS

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