Drop in crime lifts community safety

A 4.8% drop in recorded crime shows that New Zealand is fed-up with crime and serious about getting the number of offences down.

Police want to make the most of that, which means stepping up our focus on working more closely with communities and other agencies to stop crime from happening in the first place.

Annual crime statistics released recently show the lowest number of recorded offences for 15 years, continuing the steady decline in recorded crime over previous years.

The largest decreases were in Canterbury (-22.2%), Southern (-13.1%), Northland (-10.5%), and Bay of Plenty (-5.6%).

Auckland City and Waikato were the only two districts that saw an increase – respectively 8.3% and 1.7%

The calendar year covered by the statistics includes the highs of the Rugby World Cup and the lows of Canterbury’s February earthquake.

Despite those events and a rising population, we achieved a reduction in recorded crime. We see that as significant, especially against the backdrop of major demands.

The results indicate what is working, where more could be done and where resources should be directed.

Effective policing is largely about having the right people in place at the right time and the Policing Excellence strategy is helping this to happen.

The figures motivate us to do even more to keep the downward trend going.

We stay firmly targeted on bringing crime further down across the board.

Mike Bush is Deputy Commissioner of Police based in Wellington.

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