A small group of serious offenders was responsible for a spike in sexual assaults in Marlborough in the past year, say police.
Sexual assaults and related offences in the Marlborough area increased by more than 65 per cent from July 2011 to June 2012, according to crime statistics for the Tasman District released today.
In Marlborough, 53 sexual assaults and related offences were recorded from July 2011 to June 2012, compared to 32 between July 2010 and June 2011.
This was a marked increase of sexual assaults and related offences compared to other areas in the Tasman region. Nelson Bays recorded a 54 per cent increase while the West Coast rose 35 per cent.
Tasman District Commander superintendent Richard Chambers said a small group of serious offenders was responsible for the spike.
The increase in sex offences for the year did not represent a corresponding increase in the number of victims, Mr Chambers said.
The overall crime rate in the Tasman Police District, which includes Nelson Bays, Marlborough and the West Coast, climbed only 1.5 per cent from July 2011 to June 2012, compared to the July 2010 June 2011 figures.
Marlborough had the highest crime resolution rate with 64 per cent of the 5,416 recorded offences resolved, compared to 58 per cent of the 8627 offences in the Nelson Bays area and 61 per cent of the 2843 offences in the West Coast. Illicit drug dealing and trafficking offences increased by more than 605 per cent in the Tasman region, with 825 arrests made in the past year compared to 117 the previous year.
Possession and use of illicit drugs decreased by more than 11 per cent from 492 in the last year compared to 599 the previous year.
The jump in the number of offences showed the proactive work done by police in targeting drug dealers, Mr Chambers said.
Other criminal activity dropped in Marlborough, with a 19 per cent decrease in reported abduction, harassment and other related offences, which fell from 152 offences compared to 187 the previous year.
Robbery, extortion and related offences dropped by almost 50 per cent, with 10 offences recorded in the past year compared to 19 the previous year.
Burglary, breaking and entering and unlawful entry with intent fell more than 15 per cent, dropping from 530 from July 2010 to June 2011 compared to 448 from July 2011 to June 2012.
- The Marlborough Express
Is government doing enough to protect the marine environment?Related story: (See story)