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Crime Statistics: Sexual Offending

The Minister of Police, George Hawkins says it is important to consider the latest sexual crime statistics in context.

Nationwide a total of 3,314 sexual offences were reported in 2000. That is 288 more offences than were reported in 1999.

George Hawkins said while any increase in sexual offending is a concern, it is important to look at the numbers in context. Factors like increasing intolerance of sex crimes, more active policing of such crimes and plain hard work by Police can result in more sexual offences being reported.

Mr Hawkins said the Auckland District was a case in point. "I have discovered that 77 of the 135 additional sexual offences recorded in Auckland last year were committed by just three offenders. Those offenders were identified by the dedicated paedophile squad which was set up in 1999. As is often the case, once those offenders were caught additional offending came to light, including offences dating back a number of years.

"The police in the paedophile squad are working hard. They are apprehending hard-core offenders and uncovering horrific trails of crime. If police were not doing such a good job, those offenders would still be on the loose, and many of their crimes would not have made it into the statistics.

"We must always be concerned by an increase in recorded offending and we must refuse to tolerate sexual offending" said Mr Hawkins. "But the Auckland situation is a reminder that numbers must be considered carefully.

I want to repeat my congratulations to Police on their hard work, statistics don't always tell the whole story."

Ends

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