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Canterbury crime falls to record low level

Canterbury crime falls to record low level

Recorded crime in Canterbury District is now at a record low after falling by nearly 9 percent from in the 2013/14 financial year.

Crime figures released today by Statistics New Zealand show there were a total of 39,064 offences recorded in Canterbury for the 12 months to 30 June 2014, compared to 42,722 in the 2012/13 financial year. This represents a decrease of 8.6 percent.

On a per head of population basis, recorded crime fell from 773.3 offences per 10,000 people in 2012/13 to 692.2 in 2013/14 - a reduction of 10.5 percent.

Canterbury District Commander, Superintendent Gary Knowles, says a drop in recorded crime levels has a flow on effect in reducing the number of victims of crime.

The level of total recorded crime is the lowest since electronic reporting regime began in 1995.

Superintendent Knowles says the 2013/14 result is another positive for Canterbury.

"As a District we have invested a huge effort into prevention activities and improving our front-line response for the last 3 years and we’re again seeing a reduction of crime which in turn keeps communities safe.

“District staff have embraced the use of mobility devices allowing front line staff to access offender information almost instantly, make decisions based on real-time information and respond appropriately to incidents. .

"We also use technology to plan and inform our prevention activities by tracking and anticipating crime trends in the District. The establishment of our District Command Centre has also increased our responsiveness and productivity by deploying staff to the right areas at the right times.

"This has all contributed to a reduction across the District in the number of victims or repeat victims of crime and is an integral part of modern-day policing."

The profile of criminal offending in Canterbury for 2013/14 is relatively unchanged overall from previous years. Theft and related offences continue to make up the majority of recorded crime at 34.8% followed by unlawful entry and burglary (13.9%), property damage related offences (13.7%) and public order offences (9.7%).

The largest decrease in recorded offences in Canterbury was in public order offences, falling 32.5% from 5,590 in 2012/13 to 3,774 in 2013/14. The second largest decrease was in offences endangering persons dropping 26.3% followed by a 20.0% reduction in property damage offences and drug related offences dropping 19.8% compared to the same period last year.

Five murders were recorded across the District in the 2013/14 year compared to four in 2012/13 and ten in 2011/12.

A breakdown of the statistics across the district, based on the previous Canterbury District structure, shows that recorded crime in Christchurch Central continues to fall overall as population and activity return to the central city.

Recorded offences in Christchurch Metro (34,305 offences) were down by 8.7 percent on 2012/13 (37,571).

In Mid South Canterbury, recorded crime reduced by 7.6 percent from 2012/13 to 2013/14, with total offences falling from 5,151 to 4,759.

“While the 2013/14 year results are positive overall, it will take continued focus and effort to sustain the trend going forward” says Superintendent Knowles.

"Population and economic activity continues to increase in Christchurch as the re-build gathers momentum and this will in turn continue to have an effect on crime figures in the District.”

"In order to ensure offending continues to decline across the District, we will continue our focus on victims, prevention activities and our push to reduce alcohol-related crime.”

"Alcohol is often a major contributor to the offending that we see every day in our District – particularly in relation to assaults, disorder and family violence."

Statistics New Zealand population data used to calculate crime rates show that the Canterbury District population increased from 552,430 in 2012/13 to 564,305 in 2013/14.

ENDS

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