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Prevention Focus Results in Otago Rural Crime Reduction

Prevention Focus Results in Otago Rural Crime Reduction of 4.7%

A strong prevention focus from police in Otago Rural (the local authority areas of Queenstown Lakes and Central Otago) has achieved continued reductions in total crime for the year to 30 June 2014.

Figures released today through Statistics New Zealand show that reported offences dropped by 4.7 % in year to 30 June 2014. The resolution rate in the Otago Rural area was 56%.

The total numbers show there were 2980 recorded offences in the Otago Rural area in the year to 30 June 2014, down from 3126 in the previous financial year.

"These figures continue to build on the crime reductions made over recent years across Otago Rural,” says Acting Area Commander, Otago Rural, Inspector Olaf Jensen.

“They reflect the prevention focus of our hard-working staff across the area that has fantastic support from our communities and our local partner agencies.”

“We have a greater focus on victims and ensuring our policing activities are preventing people from becoming victims. Otago Rural police staff lead some innovative prevention strategies particularly around alcohol harm with Operation Overload,” Inspector Jensen says.

“This is playing a significant role in achieving continued crime reductions particularly with the large increases in the number of visitors to the Queenstown Lakes area."

The number of offences classed as acts intending to cause injury has decreased, dropping 5% (383 down from 403). public order offences decreased by 21.5% (540 down from 688) and offences related to property damage continued to decline, down 15.7% (455 down from 540) from the previous year.

There were five more sexual assault and related offences compared with the previous year and five more robbery, extortion and related offences.

Inspector Jensen says there has been an increase in the illicit drug offences up 34.2% (251 up from 187) which can be attributed to the successful termination of Operation Viking in the Wanaka area and other proactive drug operations in Queenstown and Central Otago.

Burglary offences increased 42.4% (+59 offences), and there was a small increase in theft offences (+10 offences) and fraud offences (+12 offences).

The increase in recorded burglary is believed to be largely a reflection of changed recording practices since the full implementation of the national recording standard under the crime reporting line during 2013. This effectively has meant the formation of a new baseline for recorded burglary as the full effect of changed recording practices is felt.

Inspector Jensen says, "Our overall results indicate a continuation of the great work of police staff in the area. Our focus remains on preventing crime and making Otago Rural the safest place to live and visit in the country."

Southern District results

The Southern Police District achieved a further 5% decrease in reported crime in the year to 30 June 2014. This builds on the 5.1% decrease in reported crime recorded in the previous year to 30 June 2013.

District Commander Superintendent Andrew Coster said the latest figures reflect the continued steady reduction in crime that has occurred in the district since 2009. “It is pleasing to see this sustained reduction,” Superintendent Coster said.

“This is due, in no small part, to the hard work and professionalism of our own Police staff and our partner agencies that are absolutely committed to making our communities safer.”

“The Southern Police District is already one of the safest places in the country to live and visit and our goal is to make it even safer. Over the past year Southern has made some great gains and we're now in a position that many of the important structures that support our district prevention activities, such as the district command centre, are fully up and running. The command centre provides great support to our policing areas in terms of directing prevention activities and targeting crime. The realignment of our intelligence functions will also ensure that we increase the timeliness and relevance of the information that we're able to draw on to target the criminal activity and underlying drivers that cause harm in our communities."

Superintendent Coster said he is proud of the Police staff who have contributed to the ongoing success of the Southern Police district and says the district is going from strength to strength in terms of the progress being made to keep the community safe. "As well as our police work we have some fantastic partnerships with our community and other agencies that make a significant contribution to the gains we've been making and will continue to make."


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