16 Jan 2010

Concerted effort to reduce crime paying off - mayor

10:00 pm on 16 January 2010

Community leaders say more police and community involvement in tackling crime is paying off for Counties Manukau.

Police Minister Judith Collins has announced a 9% drop in reported overall crime in the area for the last quarter of 2009.

Manukau mayor Len Brown says a huge amount of work is going into reducing crime in the area. More police, a focus on gang and drug issues and community involvement in fighting crime are all paying off for Counties Manukau, he says.

He says homicides and crimes involving serious violence have dropped significantly. He's pleased with the 9% drop but says he would like to see crime levels cut in half.

The city councillor for Manurewa, Daniel Newman, says the fall shows that higher police numbers are having a positive effect - and that a greater connection between the police and the community is also helping.

The drop in violence and dishonesty offences shows that the police are preventing crime before it happens, Mr Newman says, adding that it is early days and there is still a long way to go.

Challenge now is to keep it going

The district police commander for Counties Manukau, Superintendent Mike Bush, says his task is to ensure that the drop in crime is sustained over a long period.

Whe Ms Collins announced the latest figures on Friday, she said that the deployment of more than 160 additional officers to the district was a factor in the decrease.

Another 140 are still to be allocated to the region.

Mr Bush says new measures will be rolled out this year to ensure the reduction continues. They will include neighbourhood policing teams, which will patrol communities with a higher crime rate more frequently. Additional officers are already being rostered on patrol on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.