Crime figures show drop in burglaries
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.