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Resources provided to target criminal offending

Resources provided to target criminal offending

Statistics released this week by the Police for 2002 showing a slight overall increase of 3.2 per cent in recorded crime for the period had to be kept in perspective, says Police Minister George Hawkins.

"While any increase in recorded crime is unwelcome, it has to be remembered crime rates per head of population have been trending down for some years," Mr Hawkins said.

Although the country's population had risen by 4.3 per cent in the last six years, recorded crime rates in the same period dropped 7.8 per cent, he said.

"In 1996 offending rates were 1274 per 10,000 head of population, compared with last year when pleasingly, the rate had fallen to 1112." National resolution rates had also kept pace, with police solving 5458 more crimes in 2002 despite a rise in offences.

Mangere MP Taito Phillip Field said any comparative increase in offending is disappointing, especially after Police were able to achieve some significant reductions in some offence categories over previous years.

"Between 2000 and 2001, our local police were able to drive down burglary and overall offending. The latest figures illustrate that we have lost some ground.

"However, I want to pay tribute to our local police. Mangere police achieved another significant reduction in drug and anti-social offending, with recorded drug (cannabis only) offences down 29.2 per cent, following a 6.4 per cent reduction in 2001.

"The budget for the Counties/Manukau Police District in 2002/2003 will increase to over $64 million, allowing greater investment in staff, refurbishing of police stations, and more police vehicles. Dozens of experienced Police officers from the United Kingdom will shortly be joining other new graduate officers being posted to Counties Manukau."

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