Lower crime rate

ANNA WILLIAMS
Last updated 16:36 02/04/2014

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A focus on criminal prevention and putting the victim at the centre of police work has helped the crime rate in Marlborough drop by nearly 15 per cent, Marlborough's top cop says.

According to the latest crime statistics released by Statistics New Zealand yesterday, the number of recorded offences dropped 14.5 per cent in 2013, with 4060 crimes reported at December 31.

There were 4750 recorded offences in Marlborough the previous year.

Marlborough area commander Inspector Simon Feltham said he was pleased with the overall trend, but work still needed to be done on reducing dishonesty offending.

"We still have work to do in the community," he said. "People can help reduce those offences by being vigilant and reporting anything suspicious or out of the ordinary in their neighbourhood."

The police approach of focusing on crime prevention and putting the victim at the centre of what police did was working, he said.

Less crime was recorded in Marlborough compared to Nelson and the West Coast, which each recorded a drop of 3.5 per cent and and a rise of 0.3 per cent respectively.

However, total crime throughout the Tasman, including Marlborough, Nelson and the West Coast, fell to the lowest level since 1996, with 14,634 recorded offences in 2013.

In Marlborough, the crime resolution rate dropped from 62.5 per cent in 2012 to 54.1 per cent last year.

Many offences with a 100 per cent resolution rate, such as breaches of the liquor ban, had decreased, Feltham said.

That accounted for a drop in the resolution rate - less crime was being committed that could be resolved instantly.

Tasman district commander Superintendent Richard Chambers said the decrease in crime in the district was no surprise.

"My staff are working harder and smarter to keep the communities we serve safe," he said.

"We have embedded the prevention first strategy right across Tasman District which has enabled us to sustain the reductions in total crime."

Recorded crime across New Zealand dropped to a record low, with 15,602 fewer crimes recorded in 2013 than in 2012.

Taking into account population growth of 0.9 per cent, it meant offending per head dropped by 5 per cent.

Nine of the 12 police districts recorded decreases in recorded crime. Auckland and Wellington recorded the biggest reductions at 9.9 per cent, Bay of Plenty 7.4 per cent and Southern 6.6 per cent.

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- The Marlborough Express

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