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Police Fiscal crime statistics - national

New Zealand Police press release
1 October 2009

Fiscal crime statistics - national

For the second year in a row, Police solved more crime while the number of recorded offences increased slightly.

The annual crime statistics released by Police today are for the financial year to 30 June 2009.

Police resolved 11,649 more offences this last year. This is on the back of another big increase the previous year in which 9,677 more crimes were resolved.

There were 442,540 recorded offences compared with 426,690 for last year, an increase of 3.7 percent. During this time New Zealand's resident population increased by approximately one percent. So, the recorded offence rate per head of population increased by only 2.8 percent.

Nine of the 12 police districts experienced increases in the total number of recorded crimes.

Police resolved 212,038 offences to increase the resolution rate from 47.0 to 47.9 percent.

Recorded violence rose 7.0 percent on top of an increase last year of 11.1 percent. This has been driven almost entirely by increased recording and reporting of family violence, which increased by 13.5 percent. This compares with a much higher increase of 28.8 percent the previous year.

"We believe this is due to the work that has gone into reducing tolerance of family violence, and the devastation it causes to our families," Assistant Commissioner Grant Nicholls said.

"As tolerance in the community falls people will report family violence more readily. Also, the mandatory training which all front line staff received in 2007 in identifying families at risk has resulted in more recording of these events."

Within the Violence category, there has been a decrease in the number of homicides by 17.1 percent, group assemblies by 7.7 percent and robbery by 5.1 percent.

There were 92 offences in the homicide category in the last year; down from 111 the previous year, with 91 resolved; a resolution rate of 98.9 percent.

Police have revised previously published statistics for homicide offences for the past three years, to reflect more accurate information in Police IT systems. This follows the enhancement of our quality assurance processes. The Homicide offence category is particularly broad in New Zealand. It includes murder, attempted murder, manslaughter, infanticide, illegal abortion, and aiding suicide.

"Homicide offence statistics are an important subset of official statistics for recorded offences and it is important they are recorded consistently," Mr Nicholls said.

"Police have recently implemented greater clarity regarding definitions and rules for recording culpable deaths (a sub-set of Homicide). As a result, in order to ensure comparability across recent years, Homicide statistics for each of the latest three calendar and fiscal years have been revised."

The resolution rate for the violence category overall is 83.3 percent.

Recorded Sexual offences have increased by 6.3 percent this year and comprise less than one percent of recorded crime. "We know these offences are under reported and are therefore very sensitive to increased public awareness and reduced tolerance for such offending in society." Mr Nicholls said.

Drugs and Anti-social offences increased 12.2 percent in the last year. This increase stems mainly from increase across all three drugs offence classes, with drugs (not cannabis) up 28.1 percent, cannabis up 25.9 percent and new drug (such as methamphetamine) up 24.9 percent. Increases occurred in all districts.

"The increase in cannabis offences was almost entirely driven by an increase in offences relating to cultivation, supply and possession offences. Extra resources were invested in the National Cannabis and Crime Operation, Operation Kristy, which ran from December to March, netted a huge haul of 141,000 plants, and resulted in the arrest of 1,125 offenders, seizure of 191 firearms, the recovery of $400,000 of stolen property and the location of four methamphetamine labs being identified.


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