Burglaries rise in Waikato
A sharp spike in drug and burglary-related offences in Waikato over the past year is credited to proactive policing targeting the "root causes" of organised crime, police say.
The region saw a slight drop in reported crime in the last financial year, but there was a 12.7 per cent increase in drug offending and a 36.3 per cent and 15.8 per cent jump in people receiving stolen goods and burglary, respectively.
Waikato Police District's Commander, Superintendent Win van der Velde, said some of the increases were due to police targeting specific crime types.
Property offending, particularly burglaries, rose abouty 19 per cent, or by 542 more offences.
"Burglary is the priority for police, not just in the city, but across the Waikato."
He said targeting breaches of the liqour ban, which rose by 13.9 per cent, could have contributed to 63 less public assaults.
"This means proactive strategies such as the liquor ban, which enables us to nip issues in the bud before they escalate, keeps people safe while avoiding clogging up the court system as offenders can be dealt with via pre-charge warnings.’’
There has also been a district-wide focus on burglary and dishonesty offending.
Police targeted those receiving stolen goods and drug offenders to disrupt the ‘‘root cause’’ of organised crime.
"So with 244 more drug offenders detected it becomes harder for thieves stealing your goods to find drugs to exchange them for. It's all about making the Waikato more uncomfortable for offenders to operate in,’’ Mr van der Velde said.
New Hamilton City Area Commander, Inspector Greg Nicholls, said there was 2.2% less reported crime in the city in the past year.
However, drug offences were up 25 per cent and public order offences up 35 per cent.
Waikato crime by the numbers
- Public order offences (mostly breaches of liquor ban) - up 13.9 per cent.
- 63 less public place assaults.
- Drug offences up 12.7 per cent
- Arrests for receiving stolen goods up 36.3 per cent (81 more people)
- Burglary up 15.8 per cent
- 244 more drugs offenders arrested.
- Spike in rural Waikato crime: up 2 per cent in Western Waikato and 2.3 per cent in Eastern Waikato.
- 2.2 per cent less crime overall.
- Drug offences up 25 per cent.
- Public order offences up 35 per cent.
- Property offences (mostly burglary) up 19 per cent (542 more offences)
- © Fairfax NZ News
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