42,444 crimes reported in Wellington

WORKING HARD: Reported crime has dropped by 4.2 per cent.
WORKING HARD: Reported crime has dropped by 4.2 per cent.

An increase in burglaries across the Wellington district bucked the trend as the number of crimes recorded by police dropped, statistics released today reveal.

A total of 42,444 crimes were reported in the year to December 31 - down 4.2 per cent on the previous year.

Lower Hutt had the most significant decrease in reported crime with a drop of 9.3 per cent, Wairarapa's dropped by 3.8 per cent and Kapiti Mana's 3.6 per cent.

Fraud, deception, assaults and drug offences all declined, Wellington district commander Superintendent Mike Rusbatch said.

Homicides were down by 60 percent, with four deaths recorded as a result of murder, manslaughter and driving causing death compared to 10 in 2010.

Burglaries across the district were up slightly by 2.5 per cent.

Nationally, New Zealand's recorded crime rate is at its lowest in 15 years, with 406,056 offences recorded between January 1, 2011 and December 31, 2011, down 4.8 per cent from the previous year.

Auckland City and the Waikato were the only two districts that saw an increase with 8.3 per cent and 1.7 per cent respectively.

After taking into account the 0.8 per cent rise in New Zealand's population, the fall in crime rate was 5.6 per cent, police said.

Mr Rusbatch said police were committed to preventing crime before it occurred, part of the prevention first strategy, which runs until 2015.  

"Police across Wellington district will continue to ensure all residents can be safe and feel safe," he said.

"We're working even harder to make sure we have the right staff at the right location at the right time to keep all Wellingtonians safe and prevent them from becoming a victim of a needless crime."