Sex, drug crime up in Hamilton
Do you worry about being burgled?
Burglary and domestic violence is rampant in Waikato despite the region recording an overall drop in reported crime over the past year.
Abductions, kidnappings and sexual assaults also increased in the region in a year when New Zealand had its lowest reported crime rate in more than 20 years.
Waikato had 1.4 per cent less reported crime in the past year but there were 6232 burglaries - a 15.8 per cent increase - and the offenders went unpunished more than 80 per cent of the time.
The resolution rate for burglaries was 16.2 per cent district-wide and only 14.9 per cent in Hamilton.
Waikato police district commander Superintendent Win van der Velde said burglaries were proving to be "a real problem" with dishonesty offences accounting for more than half of all Waikato crime.
Police have been focusing their efforts on arresting receivers of stolen goods to stamp out the root cause, he said.
"Sitting behind that quite clearly is a correlation between stolen property and drugs - drug addiction, drug offending.
"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."
He said offenders were commonly targeting TVs and technology items, which they could sell for a small amount of money or trade for drugs.
Hot-water cylinders were also popular as the copper pipes turned a profit.
Detective Senior Sergeant Chris Page, of Hamilton CIB, said it was becoming more apparent that "there are no boundaries" for these offenders, especially those involved in organised crime.
Mr van der Velde said domestic violence was "again rearing its head as a major problem for us here in the Waikato".
Family violence was removed as a separate category on crime statistics last year but he said it was captured under other sections, such as assault.
There were 3594 assaults across the region in the past year, down from 3791 the year before.
However, there were 11 more abductions and kidnappings, and 40 more sexual assaults.
Hamilton city area commander Inspector Greg Nicholls said there was 2.2 per cent less reported crime in the city in the past year.
He credited a hardline approach to breaches of the liquor ban in reducing alcohol-related crime.
"It's policing with consequence but not clogging up the justice sector," he said.
"It de-escalates issues that could cause us serious violence-type situations later on in the night."
However, drug offences were up 25 per cent, burglaries were up 18.9 per cent and public order offences were up 35 per cent in the city.
Rural Waikato had a spike in crime, up 2 per cent in western Waikato and 2.3 per cent in eastern Waikato.
"Again a lot of this offending is dishonesty-driven as thieves take advantage of the complacency of rural residents," Mr van der Velde said.
A recently introduced Waikato task force had been assigned to focus on reducing the number of burglaries across the region.
2169 drugs offences
358 sexual assaults
4 attempted murders
33 abductions and kidnappings
687 fraud, deception and related offences
3856 public order/disorderly offences
- © Fairfax NZ News
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