Wellington crime: Sex assaults

Last updated 08:13 13/04/2012

This week Statistics NZ published data from crimes that happended throughout the Wellington police disctrict.

There were 42,444 crimes reported so we have picked out some trends to show the impact of sexual assaults on residents and police.

Words: Blair Ensor; Data: Blayne Slabbert.

Are there more sexual assaults now or in 1994?


Where are the sexual assaults happening?

Wellington District Commander Superintendent Mike Rusbatch explains the trends from a police perspective.

A spike in sexual assaults in recent years is a concern for police, but it also shows greater confidence in police, Mr Rusbatch says.

He believes there has not been an increase in sexual assaults, but rather a "greater willingness" to report sexual crimes to police.

"This area is well under reported. The trust and confidence levels are increasing as we are providing better support around victims.

"This is actually a positive in terms of people coming forward and reporting their sexual assaults. In terms of the volume that is obviously an increasing demand on our resource and sexual assaults are resource intensive, but what we know is that this is a very vulnerable group and it's the right thing to do to focus on this crime type.

As a result police are dedicating more resources to deal with sexual assaults in the region.

The rise in reported sexual assaults seen across all areas was part of a nationwide trend, he says.

"We know we've still got a lot of under-reporting and we believe that it's still got some way to increase first, but eventually it will get to a tipping point."

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