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Burglary Response Times Cut

Burglary response times have been cut after Police were issued with a Government expectation that burglaries ought to be responded to within 24 hours.

Minister of Police Hon. George Hawkins has received a Police report that shows nationwide, it takes police on average seven hours 11 minutes to be dispatched to a burglary.
 The Northern communications centre has an average dispatch time of nine hours.
 The Central communications centre has an average dispatch time of six hours.
 The Southern communications centre has an average dispatch time of three hours.

The response times are a "snap shot" taken between 1 June 2000 to 13 June 2000.

George Hawkins said: "The Police have responded to the Government's tough on burglary policy. And we are now beginning to see results.

"The pressure has been applied to criminals. They now know that if they commit a burglary, the Police will be hot on their trail.

"The message is out that this Government will not tolerate a low priority approach to policing burglary crimes. Police are now reporting a marked drop in the number of reported burglaries."

This week a Central/West Auckland burglary squad detective said his team is catching the people who are committing 80 per cent of the crime in his area.

Also, the Insurance Council has publicly stated that current policing of burglary is having an effect on reducing reported burglary rates.

"Police have burglars on the run. There is a trend and it is positive for law abiding New Zealanders. Police are determined to see criminals put out of business," George Hawkins said.

Background Information.

The Northern communications centre spans the Far North, North Shore/Waitakere, Auckland City, Counties/Manukau police districts, and Tauranga, Hamilton and Rotorua in the south.

 Northland has a dispatch time of 3 hours.
 Auckland Central has a dispatch time of 10 hours.
 North Shore has a dispatch time of 8 hours.
 Auckland West has a dispatch time of 14 hours.
 Otahuhu has a dispatch time of 14 hours.
 Papakura has a dispatch time of 9 hours.
 Hamilton has a dispatch time of 8 hours.
 Hamilton rural has a dispatch time of 4 hours.
 Tauranga has a dispatch time of 3 hours.
 Rotorua has a dispatch time of 3 hours.

Central Communication Centre dispatch times are:
 Gisborne – 4 hours.
 Hastings – 5 hours.
 Napier – 3 hours.
 New Plymouth - 3 hours.
 Palmerston North – 5 hours.
 Lower Hutt – 12 hours.
 Wellington – 9 hours.
 Wanganui – 3 hours.
 Kapiti Mana – 5 hours.

Southern Communication Centre dispatch times are:
 Balclutha – 2 hours.
 Blenheim – 2 hours.
 Christchurch – 4 hours.
 Christchurch Rural – 1 hour.
 Dunedin – 2 hours.
 West Coast – 0 hours.
 Southland – 4 hours.
 Nelson – 2 hours.
 Otago – 0 hours.
 Oamaru – 0 hours.
 Timaru – 0 hours.

The response times are in stark contrast to when the National Party was in government. Then, burglary crime was considered a low priority. It was common for Police to take three to fives days to respond to a burglary.

The Justice and Law Reform Select Committee report on the petition of Bruce Jackson and 1767 others stated then that in south Auckland Police resources were "stretched to breaking point". It concluded that at that time a "high crime rate" was putting pressure on the Police, and recommended that additional resources be applied.

The Labour/Alliance Government has contracted Police to respond to burglary within 24 hours of being reported, and has budgeted for:

1. Enhanced police intelligence capability
Crime mapping technology and expertise to identify and target hotspots. The funding will be used to enhance Police intelligence by two sites in 2000/01 and a further site in 2001/02.
Year 1: $1.341m Vote: Police
3 year funding: $4.725m

2. DNA blood samples – burglary crime scenes
DNA testing is increasing. Police normally have samples from up to 350 crime scenes tested each month. This increased to 1089 in June this year. National Crimes Manager, Det. Superintendent Bill Bishop said that of all crime scenes examined, police had been able to link a third to people whose DNA profiles were already stored on the national database.
For every three burglary scenes DNA-tested, two could be linked to someone on the database.

3. Preventing repeat victimisation – target hardening
Education and assistance with basic security measures to reduce repeat victimisation (identified by Victimisation Survey and other studies as a significant contributor to total burglary incidence).

Year 1: $0.280m Vote: Justice
3 year funding: $0.960m

Continuation/expansion funding

1. More Targeted Enforcement Teams
The number of LETs [Law Enforcement Teams] will increase from eight to 11. The new LET teams will be located at Auckland City, North Shore/Waitakere, and Counties/Manukau to target burglary.

Year 1: $2.510m Vote: Police
3 year funding: $7.593m


Total fiscal value of Burglary Package

Year 1: $4.469m
3 year funding: $14.117m

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