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Minister hails lowest crime rate in 25 years

24 August 2005

Police Minister hails lowest crime rate in 25 years

New Zealand's crime rate has hit a 25 year low, according to latest crime figures.

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The latest official crime figures prove that the Labour-led Government's six years of investment in law-and-order is making New Zealand a safer place to live in, Police Minister George Hawkins said today.

"Total recorded crime in the year to June 2005 is down by 7.1 per cent," said Mr Hawkins. "That's 30,000 fewer offences committed over the past 12 months than the year before.

"In terms of the crime rate, the fall is 8.1 per cent with 968.8 offences per 10,000 population. This is the first time that the crime rate has dipped below 1000 since fiscal year records began, and lower than any calendar year total since 1981.

"What we're seeing is not just the result of this Government's billion-dollar investment in Police, but the result of a range of policies that have put New Zealanders into jobs, raised their standard of living and given them a real stake in their community.

"It is significant that the crime rate has fallen in every category of offence and in every district in the country.

"Total homicides are down 20 per cent, drug offences are down almost 18 per cent and burglary is down 6.8 per cent - that's almost 4000 fewer houses and shops burgled over the last 12 months.

"The emphasis on road policing continues to save lives. Fatalities per 10,000 population registered 1:03 in 2002 and 1.07 in 2004 - the two lowest rates since records began in 1951. I am pleased to note that both the number of tickets issued and the mean road speed have dropped in the latest statistics. "Contrary to the misinformation spread by some politicians, our road policing policy costs twice as much to implement as is received in revenue from tickets. The lower road tolls confirm that it is money well-spent.

"This Government has poured more resources into Police than any Government before: more staff, more money, more cars, more police stations and more equipment. The result is safer homes, safer communities and safer roads."

ENDS

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