Building a safer New Zealand is one of the National-led Government’s top priorities. Since we came into office almost three years ago, we have been getting tough on criminals, putting victims first, and addressing the drivers of crime.
Therefore, it is great news that the rate of crime is continuing to fall. Recorded crime has dropped 7% per head of population during the year ended June 30, 2011.
This compares to 1.3% drop in the previous year.
The drop in crime is a result of increased pressure on criminals and a greater focus on crime prevention by the police and the Government.
Police are to be commended for their hard work and dedication in the fight against crime.
This Government backs our Police in their efforts.
We promised to boost police numbers and that is what we have done.
We are well on the way to putting 600 extra police on the frontline by the end of the year.
We have also given police better tools to do their job. This includes more than 720 tasers for those on the frontline and new powers such as the ability to dismantle gang fortifications and to seize the assets of crime.
The drop in crime shows the fight against crime is working and that high levels of crime need not be an accepted fact of life.
All police districts have seen a drop in crime on a population basis.
Canterbury had the biggest decrease at 15.6% and there were other big drops in the Southern, Tasman, Central, and Waitemata districts.
Police have increased pressure on criminals across the board and introduced fresh initiatives such as Neighbourhood Policing Teams in communities throughout New Zealand.
These strategies are helping to lower crime rates and build safer communities.
Thanks to measures put in place by National, Police are also seeing great results in their work to protect victims and seize the profits of crime.
More than 6000 Police Safety Orders have been issued to help prevent domestic violence. A new specialist police unit is seizing the proceeds of crime.
So far, $40 million worth of assets have been restrained and $8 million have been forfeited to the Crown.
While the latest crime statistics are good news, they do not signal victory over criminals. Our crime rates are still too high. National and Police will not let up in the fight against crime.
As Prime Minister, I get the chance to chat to people in our Indian communities about the issues that matter to them.
I know that law and order is really important to you.
You want to feel safer in your homes and in your neighbourhoods.
That is what you deserve, and that is what this Government is working hard to achieve for you.
We will continue to back police, help build safer communities for families, and send a clear message to criminals that crime will not be tolerated.