Large drop in reported crime, murder rate
The number of murders in New Zealand dropped by nearly a quarter last year, while overall reported crime fell 6.7 per cent.
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Family violence continued to increase, however, according to the latest crime statistics.
The drop in reported crime compares to a 3.6 per cent increase in the 2009 calendar year. In total, there were 426,345 recorded offences during the year compared to 451,405 in 2009.
There were 46 murders last year compared to 65 in 2009, a drop of 23.6 per cent.
Across a 25-year period the murder trend remained flat. Within these figures, family violence murders dropped from 36 in 2009 to 25 last year.
Police Minister Judith Collins attributed the reported drop to intensified crime-fighting work by police.
"I am very pleased that recorded crime showed a decrease in 2010. This result is a tribute to the dedication and hard work by our law enforcement officers," she said.
Kevin Kelly, the force's acting development general manager, said sexual assault and related offending increased by 3.6 per cent in 2010 from the previous year - driven almost entirely by recorded family violence, which may reflect greater reporting.
"We know most cases of sexual offending are not reported, and this remains a concern to police. We urge all victims of sexual offending to report it to police," he said.
* Less than half of all reported crimes were resolved - with the rate dropping slightly from 47.8 per cent in 2009 to 47.5 per cent in 2010.
* Fraud offences were down 26.9 per cent, weapons offences dropped 8.9 per cent, drug offences fell 7.7 per cent and burglaries dropped 3.4 per cent.
* Family violence continued to rise, at a rate of 1.2 per cent, but that increase was lower than in previous years.
* All but one police district (Eastern) recorded decreases in the number of total offences.
* Adjusted for population growth, all districts recorded fewer offences per head of population last year.
* Offences around drugs possession and use dropped by 7.7 per cent (864 offences) in 2010.
* Possession and use of methamphetamine and amphetamines dropped by 8.2 per cent, while procurement and possession of cannabis dropped by 8.1 per cent.
* Theft and related offences, which made up more than 30 per cent of all recorded offences, dropped by 5.4 per cent, while burglary offences also dropped by 3.4 per cent from 2009.
* Among police districts, Waitemata had the biggest drop in recorded crime (-10.9 per cent), followed by Auckland City (-9.9 per cent) and Counties-Manukau (-7.8 per cent).
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