City takes big hit because of serious assault claims

NICOLE MATHEWSON
Last updated 05:00 14/08/2014

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Christchurch has one of the country's highest rates of ACC claims for serious assaults, new figures show.

The figures released by ACC this week revealed 54.8 people out of every 10,000 in Christchurch made a claim for injuries received from a serious assault during the year ending June 2013. The only areas with higher rates were Gisborne and Wairoa, which both recorded rates of 70.26 claims per 10,000 people, and the Far North District, which recorded 67.35 claims per 10,000 people.

Christchurch's rate dropped compared to five years ago, but is still higher than Auckland (41.76), Wellington (18.18), and the national average of 21.56.

Canterbury district commander Superintendent Gary Knowles said he was surprised by ACC's data, as it was not reflected in the region's crime rates.

"Christchurch is not worse than anywhere else in the country.

"I'd hate it to be labelled that way, because it's not."

ACC spokesman Glenn Donovan said intentional harm, including assaults and sexual violence, was one of seven high-cost types of injury ACC had been focusing on since the start of the year.

Other problem areas included injuries caused by falls, sport and recreation, lifting and carrying, work, motor vehicles and treatment.

The figures showed Christchurch residents were most likely to be injured at home.

Just over half (51 per cent) of all new claims lodged in the 2012-13 year were related to injuries received at home, costing ACC almost $50 million.

A further 23.7 per cent of injuries happened in recreational areas or on sports fields, while commercial or service locations were the scene of a further 8.1 per cent of injuries.

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- The Press

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