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Safer Communities In "Long Term" - King

Safer Communities In "Long Term" - King

Increases in recorded offences statistics may continue in the short term, as people are urged to report crime where they see it or experience it, but the Government is convinced its range of law and order initiatives, including extra police on the streets, will result in more crime being prevented and safer communities in the long term, says Police Minister Annette King.

Commenting on an increase of 6.9 percent in recorded offences per 10,000 population for the 2005-06 year, Ms King says the increase, while the first for a number of years, had been well signalled and was not a surprise.

Ms King says taking a long-term view, recorded crime rate is nearly 20% down on what it was 10 years ago, and it is clear that some of the increase in the past year can be attributed to the way crime is recorded.

"My concern, however, is to get the best information we can. The Government wants to make all our communities safer, but that can only happen if we know what the true level of crime is in society. The increase of 17.4 percent in recorded domestic violence offences is an excellent example. I believe the police campaign to encourage people to report family violence is paying off, and we are now seeing something like the true picture emerging of a real cancer in our society.

"Family violence figures are likely to increase, in terms of recorded crime at least, before all the initiatives we are now developing, like family safety teams, start to make an impact."

Ms King says a greater role for community police and the development of a single non-emergency number will also encourage New Zealanders to report crime. "If people can see that police are accessible and that they are there in more numbers to help them, then they are far more likely to turn to the police for help, and that in turn is likely in more recorded crime."

Ms King congratulated the police on resolving more crime across all categories. "That is really good news, and it shows that public trust in the police is paying off.

The more that crime in reported, the better the intelligence police can develop about crime patterns, and the better the intelligence, the better placed police are to prevent crime and crash occurring. That's what we all want to happen, and it is even more likely to happen with communities working alongside police."

Ms King says wthat while it is encouraging that total recorded crime is still well below its level 10 years ago, the increase over the past year certainly shows there is no cause for complacency. "Clearly some districts, like Counties-Manukau and Waikato, face special problems, and special initiatives are needed in these districts.

"That is happening, and that is also why the largest contingent of the first tranche of the extra 1000 sworn and 250 non-sworn police staff being put in place over the next three years under our confidence and supply agreement with New Zealand First are being assigned north of Taupo.

"Of the 458 new police staff allocated in the first year, 185 of them are going to the three Auckland districts, for example, and while all police districts will receive their fair share of extra staffing over the three years, it is intended to continue placing staff firstly where they are needed most."


  • See Also Scoop Link - Police: Crime Statistics for fiscal year ending 30 June 2006
  • National Statistics for fiscal year ending 30 June 2006
  • © Scoop Media

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