1 Oct 2013

Crime figures down again

4:16 pm on 1 October 2013

New figures show another drop in recorded crime. Ten of the 12 police districts recorded a decrease in the year to June.

Reported crime is down 7.4% in the year to June.

The drop is off the back of decreases in each of the two financial years before that.

Recorded crime is down 5.3% in Auckland's Counties Manukau District where there were falls in reported robberies, assaults and harassment.

However, reported sexual assaults nationwide are up 10.8% with an increase of 16% in Counties Manukau district.

Deputy commissioner Viv Rickard says while he doesn't want sex offences to increase he does want more reporting of them.

Mr Rickard believes the increases are from people being more trusting of police officers and having more confidence in them.

He says a focus on crime prevention that started in 2008 is paying off.

Illicit drug offences also fell with fewer cases of cannabis cultivation and possession. But there were increases in cases of drug dealing.

In Christchurch recorded crime grew 5.4%, although it is still below pre-quake levels.

Police in Northland say mass sexual offending by a former deputy principal is partly behind a rise in recorded crime.

James Parker was sentenced to preventive detention in August after admitting 74 sexual offences against boys.

Northland is one of just two police regions to record more crime in the year to June.

District commander Russell Le Prou says recorded crime is up 2.3%.

"Whilst he had 74 charges at court, there were over 300 offences that related to those charges, so that drives a large part of the 344 increase we had."

Mr Le Prou says the case has given complainants of other sexual abuse confidence to come forward.

Family violence figures are again not included in the latest nationwide figures, but police say they remain a serious problem.