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Crime Statistics - Released June 1998
Police issue crime statistics twice each year, for the years ending 30 June and 31 December. The statistics may take some time to collate and analyse. For example those for the period ending 30 June 1997 were not released until early October. At the same time as the national statistics are released those from each of the 16 police districts are put out by local commanders.
Request for amplification of the statistics should be referred to the Research and Statistics Section at Police National Headquarters in Wellington on 04 474-9499.

‘Crime’s not out of control’ - Police

Police comment on latest NZ Crime Statistics - June 1998

Slight drop in overall recorded crime
Recorded crime in 1997 dropped almost one percent and police solved slightly more crime than last year.

The latest crime statistics show recorded crime dropped by 4,049 offences to 473,547. Police also resolved 176,299 offences, an increase from 36.8% to 37.2%.

Deputy Commissioner Barry Matthews of Police National Headquarters in Wellington says the signs are encouraging. "Recorded crime in recent years has been relatively stable with either small decreases or increases. The amount of crime police resolve has been relatively consistent over the past few years.

"While these statistics do not represent a complete account of New Zealand crime, they go a long way towards shattering the myth that crime is out of control," says Mr Matthews.

The 1997 crime figures show that recorded crime dropped in sexual offending (down 14.8%), dishonesty (down 2.4%), and property damage (down 1.8%).

There was a small increase in total recorded violence (0.6%), drugs and anti-social (7.2%), property abuse (0.4%), and administrative (8%). Within the violence category, homicide, kidnapping and abduction, robbery, grievous assaults, intimidation/threats and group assembles all went up. However, serious and minor assaults dropped.

Police resolved more homicides, robberies, grievous assaults, serious assaults and group assemblies.

Recorded thefts and fraud dropped, and there were only 28 more burglaries. Also under the dishonesty category, recorded receiving went up nearly 10%.

Traffic figures ‘encouraging’

There are very encouraging signs in the traffic enforcement areas. Police have ticketed more speeding drivers as part of the greater focus on speed as a cause of fatal crashes.

"Our efforts in this area complement the increased advertising on speeding. It also reflects a dramatic improvement in technology including laser guns, eagle radars and hidden cameras."

The 25% increase in speed camera offences includes the hidden camera trial, which was conducted in the Midland Region during the last six months of 1997. That trial resulted in a four-fold increase in tickets in that area.

Seat belt infringement and offences increased 34%, which again reflects targeted enforcement throughout the year.  The traffic figures also reflect an increased effort by the Commercial Vehicle Investigation Unit (CVIUs).   This increase does not mean industry standards are declining but that increased effort has improved compliance.

"The road toll is also looking
encouraging. So far this year, 220 people have died on our roads. For the same period last year 264 died."

Change in crime data presentation

There is a significant change in the scope of the information presented in the 1997 crime figures. They exclude all information on events identified and processed by police as "no offence disclosed". These relate the matters reported to police, which after investigation are found not to have involved an offence. It also relates in some cases to complainants withdrawing complaints.

This change means the use of the terms "reported" and "cleared" is no longer appropriate." From now on, police statistics on crime will refer to recorded and resolved offences.  The data released today is not comparable with previous years unless all the "no offence disclosed" information is excluded.

The 1997 statistics represent the start of a new series of crime data that is more reliable and accurate.
For further information refer to Media services, Police National Headquarters, Wellington. 
04 474 9442.

Key Points in the 1997 crime statistics

  • Recorded crime down nearly one percent
  • Resolution rate 37.2 percent up from 36.8 percent
  • Limited historical data is presented because of the changes in the way police record crime
  • Police now refer to ‘recorded’ and ‘resolved’ crime, not reported and cleared crime
  • Total recorded offences 473,547
  • Nine districts show a drop in recorded crime
  • Sexual offending down 14.8 percent
  • Dishonesty down 2.4 percent
  • There were only 28 more burglaries
  • Small increase in violence
  • 151 homicides
  • Recorded traffic offences and infringements up 22.7 percent
  • Speeding offences/infringement up 25 percent
  • Drink drive offences/infringements up 0.9 percent
  • Seat belt offences./infringements up 34.1 percent.

Back to Crime Stats Index

Recorded crime in 1997 dropped almost one percent and police solved slightly more crime than in1996. These statistics show recorded crime dropped by 4,049 offences to 473,547. Police also resolved 176,299 offences, an increase from 36.8% to 37.2%.

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