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Recorded Crime Continues to Decline

Embargoed until 10:45am – 15 December 2006

Recorded Crime Continues to Decline

A new report on crime trends shows the continuation of a decline in the crime rate from the early 1990s, Statistics New Zealand said today. The overall crime rate in 2005 has declined to 994 offences per 10,000 population, from a peak in 1992 of 1,322 per 10,000 population. These figures are based on offences recorded by the New Zealand Police.

In 2005, the single largest category of crime was dishonesty, accounting for more than half of all recorded crime. Dishonesty offences include theft, burglary, car conversion, fraud and receiving. Figures for 2005 reveal a rate for dishonesty offences of around 562 per 10,000 population, a decline of 32 percent from 1996. Other categories of crime that experienced a decline in rates between 1996 and 2005 were drugs and antisocial offences, sexual offences and property abuse offences. The rates for property damage offences and administrative offences remained fairly stable over that time.

The only category for which the rate increased was violence. In 2005, the rate of recorded violent crime was 118 offences per 10,000 population, a rise of 10 percent from 1996. This was due largely to an increase in offences at the lower end of the violence scale. Increases in minor crime, such as threats and intimidation, for which the recorded crime rate increased 50 percent, may have been influenced by a lowering of both police and public tolerance for those types of offences. The rates of homicide have remained stable over the period 1996–2005.

The Police resolved 43 percent of all offences recorded in 2005. The resolution rate has increased from a low of 30 percent in 1991.

Crime in New Zealand 1996–2005 is available on Statistics NZ's website.

Brian Pink
Government Statistician


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