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Getting tough on crime is paying off locally

“National’s commitment to crime reduction is paying local dividends. Our streets and communities are safer,” said Maungakiekie MP Belinda Vernon today.

Ms Vernon’s comments follow the release of crime statistics that show New Zealand’s crime rate has dropped for the second year in the row, down 3% in the year to June 1999.

There was good news for Auckland City. As well as total offences falling by 6.5%, key offences were well down on last year’s figures.

The number of recorded violent offences in Auckland City fell from 4,457 to 3,995 (down 10.4%), sexual offences were down 24.9% and drug and anti-social offences fell from 6,884 to 6,448 (down 6.3%). Auckland City also recorded the second largest reduction in crime in the country.

“National’s four-point plan to tackle crime is working. We will continue to focus on early intervention, crime prevention, more police, and tougher sentences.”

Ms Vernon said surveys that show New Zealanders believe crime is increasing don’t reflect reality. Not only has the overall crime rate been reducing since 1992, but the rate of violent crime nation-wide has also declined over the past four years.

“The public should feel reassured. The Government’s crime reduction programme and the Police’s hard work are making Auckland City a safer place.”

She said by the middle of next year New Zealand will have nearly 7,000 sworn police officers – the highest number in the county’s history. In contrast, police numbers reduced by 270 under the previous Labour Government.

ENDS

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