Culture change can reduce offences

While the number of offences of various types has declined in the Auckland City Police District over the past year, further improvements can be made to improve safety and security with public cooperation, better communications and more efficient networking, a top police official has said.

According to official statistics released last fortnight, burglaries and sexual assaults dropped respectively by 3.3% and 15.5% during the fiscal year to June 2012, while harassment and related offences declined by 9.8%.

Figures also showed that the City District recorded 54,351 criminal offences during the fiscal year 2011-2012. Burglary, breaking or entering a premises and unlawful entry accounted for 15.9%.

The number of recorded illicit drug offences went up from 1527 to 1817 during the period. Officials said this was largely due to a better proactive focus on vehicles driven from known drug dealing locations as well as larger scale detection operations carried out by the Police.

Better efforts

Auckland City Police District Commander Superintendent Michael Clement attributed the desirable decline in various types of crime to increased patrolling and the message of precautions reaching the people.

He said that property crime dominated the District when he took charge in February this year.

“Burglary is a crime in that mix. It has continued to fall but it will take a continuing focus; homeowners are security conscious and alert to things that look out of place in their neighbourhood.

“Neighbourhood support networks are an essential part of homeowners and occupiers feeling safe. I encourage people to become a part of a network and look out for each other,” he said.

Proactive stance

Superintendent Clement said that the Police are developing the ‘intelligence picture’ to get a better idea of where offences take place to be more proactive in identifying trends and taking action to interrupt the offending as quickly as possible.

Public order offences increased by 46% (6243 cases) for the year ended June 2012 Superintendent Clement said that the increase in the offences occurred during the Rugby World Cup, simply because there were more people in Auckland City.

The number of police officials was also significantly high during that time, with 700 staff deployed on the opening night alone,” he said.

Drunken brawls

According to him, the Police had improved their response to alcohol-fuelled violence and disorder in public places, especially in the downtown area.

“However, we need a culture change when it comes to drinking. The legislation in Parliament is a part of the solution. It is important to ensure that all of us do the best we can as a community to bring about a change in attitudes to the way we drink,” he said.

The District recorded a drop in the number of fraud-related offences (126 cases) during the year ended June 2012.

Superintendent Clement said, “Frauds have dropped in the City mainly due to improved bank practices including safer delivery of credit cards and overall reduction in the use of cheques.”

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