Wellington crime statistics for 2012 released

ON GUARD: Overall reported crime across the Wellington district dropped 6.5 per cent in the year to July.
ON GUARD: Overall reported crime across the Wellington district dropped 6.5 per cent in the year to July.

The Wellington area's crime statistics have bucked a national trend, which has crime plummeting across the country.

Crime in the capital remains almost unchanged with 16,690 recorded offences in the year to July a 0.2 per cent increase on the previous 12 months.

Nationally recorded crime was the lowest in more than two decades, police said. Recorded offences dropped to 394,522 from 416,324 the previous year.

When New Zealand's population increase is taken into account, police said it resulted in a 5.9 per cent decrease - the lowest since the 1988/1989 fiscal year.

Among the Wellington area's crime statistics were significant increases in offending relating to sexual attacks, drugs, and weapons and explosives.

Across the district recorded drug offences are up as well, but the increase is because of a more targeted police approach rather than an increase in drugs on the market Wellington district commander Superintendent Mike Rusbatch said today.

Crime across the district was down 6.5 per cent, Mr Rusbatch said.

Significant decreases were reported in Wairarapa – down 19.6 per cent – and Hutt Valley – down 12.9 per cent.

Burglaries across the district were up 6.4 per cent and sexual assaults up 12.5 per cent. Robbery, assaults and theft were all down on the previous year.

Deputy Police Commissioner Viv Rickard said the decrease in recorded crime nationally show New Zealand was becoming a safer place to live.

"They will act as further motivation to keep our focus firmly on preventing crime before it happens."

He said offences at the less serious end of the spectrum reduced the most.

Following the Christchurch earthquake there was a sudden large decrease in recorded theft and property damage offences, Rickard said.

"This decrease appears to be partly due to the public not wanting to bother us with minor matters when they knew we were dealing with the earthquake aftermath."

Homicide and related offending dropped by 20 offences, while the number of murders rose by nine.

Within those figures, there were 20 family violence murders, which is the same number as the previous year.

Sexual offences increased by 121 offences, or 3.6 per cent, while abduction, harassment and other related offences dropped by 1408 offences or 10.2 per cent.

Rickard said the really pleasing aspect of the drop in the overall number of recorded offences meant fewer people suffered the trauma associated with becoming a victim of crime.

"We all know we're not done yet. But these latest crime statistics provide a very encouraging indicator that our work is paying dividends," he said.


Contact Blair Ensor
Police reporter
Email: blair.ensor@dompost.co.nz
Twitter: @blairensor

The Dominion Post