Drug-related crime up 18 per cent in Wellington, total crime levels unchanged
New Zealand Police, 1 April 2010
There was an increase of less than 1 percent in recorded crime for the year ending 31 December 2009 compared to the previous year. However, when adjustment is made for the population increase, the district recorded a marginal drop (0.5 percent) in recorded offences per head of population.
Wellington Police resolved 46.3 percent of recorded offences 2009, up from 43.8 percent the previous year, but below the national average of 47.8 percent.
The largest volume increases in crime were in the following three offence categories:
The factors dominating the increase in recorded Drugs and Anti-Social offences are Disorder offences (up 11.5 percent, or 324 offences), Drugs (Cannabis) offences (up 19 percent or 295 offences), and Breach of liquor ban offences (up 29 percent or 235 offences). These increases were the result of more proactive policing of Wellington’s public areas resulting in a significant reduction in public place violence. The rise in recorded cannabis offences was due to offending that was discovered when offenders were being dealt with in relation to other disorder and antisocial offences.
The 1 percent increase in the total number of recorded Violence offences has been driven entirely by an increase in recorded family violence, up 10 percent. The results are consistent with the national picture, where there have been significant increases in recorded family violence offences since the roll-out of mandatory training to all front-line staff in 2007 and publicity campaigns about family violence. Many people may now be reporting to Police family violence offences which in the past may not have come to Police attention. What these figures do tell us is that Police are dealing with more matters as family violence offences.
Additionally, Wellington District recorded a 10 percent reduction in public place violence in 2009. This was achieved through increased proactive policing of public areas throughout the Wellington District and continued focus on reducing the harm that is caused through the misuse of alcohol. The work on alcohol harm reduction has been undertaken in partnership with local Councils, District Licensing Authorities and business within the hospitality industry.
Acting Wellington District Commander, Superintendent Gail Gibson, said she is pleased the focus on reducing public place violence is showing a positive effect.
“Alcohol and drugs play a significant part in other public place offending such as assault and robbery. As a district our focus is ensuring people in our communities can enjoy a night out without the fear of crime. It’s very pleasing to note the strategy appears to be having a positive effect on behaviour in public places,” said Superintendent Gibson.
Despite increases in Burglary (up 3 percent) and Car Conversion offences (up 5 percent), Dishonesty offences dropped by 399 offences in 2009. This was driven mainly by a reduction in Theft offences of 703 offences (down 5 percent).
“While dishonesty offence figures overall are decreasing, I urge the public to keep making themselves aware of crime prevention strategies and take sensible theft prevention measures.
“Neighbourhood Support groups are an excellent source of information and I encourage more residents to get involved in them,” said Superintendent Gibson.