Crime stats a mixed result
People feel safe in Porirua, assures the new Kapiti Mana police commander, but the latest crime stats still reveal some worrying trends.
Released last week, the figures for 2011 show that the number of recorded offences is down 4.2 per cent compared with 2010, the second best rate in the region behind Lower Hutt.
Robbery offences are down 47 per cent, fraud 11 per cent, drug crime 6 per cent and property damage 9 per cent. Public disorder saw the biggest fall – 35 per cent.
‘‘Any decreases in crime we report is a good thing, there’s no doubt about that,’’ says inspector John Price.
‘‘But the numbers show 8483 victims out there and that’s too many.’’
There were no homicides recorded in the Kapiti-mana district (Porirua and Kapiti) in 2011, down from one in 2010.
However, burglary offences were up 21 per cent in 2011, while theft (9 per cent) and sexual assault (41 per cent) saw disconcerting upsurges.
Mr Price says one of his priorities is ensuring the ‘‘daily, weekly and monthly’’ monitoring of crime is conducted.
Patterns will emerge and resources can be committed accordingly.
‘‘ We’re constantly looking at data and victims’ reports so we can prevent things from happening in the first place, if we’re able to.
‘‘There are seasonal trends we’re aware of and plenty of spikes at certain times of the year.’’
The increase in the reporting of family violence incidents shows there is more trust in police, he says, which ‘‘can’t be measured by statistics’’.
The impression he has from police staff and residents is Porirua and Kapiti are not areas riddled with crime.
‘‘We want a safe place for our community to live, work, play and visit and I think, by and large, we have that.
‘‘What this comes down to is residents looking out for one another and police staff working hard to achieving these reductions.’’