Crime fig­ures show drop in bur­glar­ies

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By EMMA WHITTAKER

Crimes like bur­glary and theft from cars will con­tinue to be the fo­cus of Auck­land po­lice in the next year.

Th­ese types of crimes have been in the sights of po­lice over the past year and of­fi­cers say they are see­ing re­sults.

But crimes like sex­ual as­sault and as­saults in pub­lic places are on the rise.

Sta­tis­tics re­leased this week for the 2013 fi­nan­cial year show crime in the Auck­land City District is at its low­est in 17 years.

The district is also cel­e­brat­ing no longer hav­ing the most recorded crime, by pop­u­la­tion, in the coun­try. It now sits in sec­ond place. ‘‘We’re rapt but we know there is a lot more we can do yet,’’ district com­man­der Su­per­in­ten­dent Mike Cle­ment says.

Prop­erty crime has made up as much as 80 per cent of to­tal crime in some parts of the re­gion, he says.

‘‘We have to do it all well, but if you are go­ing to put some dis­tinct fo­cus into one area, this has to be one.

‘‘It’s a pretty ob­vi­ous thing to fo­cus on and it’s what the com­mu­nity wants us to fo­cus on.’’

The cat­e­gory in­cludes things like bur­glar­ies and break-ins, gen­eral theft and theft of cars.

The lat­est fig­ures show there were 1966 fewer bur­glar­ies and break-ins than in the 2011 to 2012 year and a drop of 19 per cent in the num­ber of theft re­lated of­fences.

Smart­phones are a pop­u­lar tar­get for thieves and Mr Cle­ment says there are ‘‘a num­ber of irons in the fire’’ to try and com­bat this.

He can’t yet go into de­tail but po­lice are in talks with telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion com­pa­nies to try and make phones a less at­trac­tive op­tion to thieves.

The ‘‘mod­est’’ in­crease in the num­ber of pub­lic place as­saults hasn’t slipped be­low the radar.

There were 20 more than in the pre­vi­ous year.

Mr Cle­ment says al­co­hol will have been a con­tribut­ing fac­tor in many of th­ese in­ci­dents and changes to the Sale of Liquor Act that come into force on De­cem­ber 18, along with lo­cal poli­cies that could fol­low, will help sig­nif­i­cantly.

Sex­ual as­saults in­creased by 22 per cent in the year.

The largest num­ber oc­curred in the cen­tral part of the district which cov­ers the city cen­tre.

This is in line with na­tional re­sults.

Po­lice deputy com­mis­sioner Viv Rickard says this is likely to be a re­sult of greater trust and con­fi­dence in po­lice rather than a spike in of­fend­ing.

‘‘We be­lieve that his­tor­i­cally sex­ual vi­o­lence is un­der-re­ported to au­thor­i­ties.

‘‘Po­lice are heart­ened that vic­tims of this type of crime are com­ing for­ward and we want to as­sure them that po­lice take all com­plaints of sex­ual vi­o­lence se­ri­ously.’’

Po­lice are re­mind­ing peo­ple that call­ing 111 im­me­di­ately when a crime has hap­pened and tak­ing time to con­sider per­sonal safety are the best pro­tec­tions.

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