New Zealand Crime Information and Statistics
Before you read the article below, which was first written in April 2010, we’d like to draw your attention to allegations in July 2014 that police have been altering crime recording to appease politicians
“A police investigation, revealed in the Herald on Sunday, into southern Counties Manukau police found about 500 burglaries had been wrongly reclassified as other offences or incidents between 2009 and 2012.
Incidents are not recorded in crime statistics, leading to questions about whether police had fudged numbers to please political bosses.
Judith Collins was Police Minister for most of that period and her Papakura electorate is one of the affected areas.
She has trumpeted statistics in her newsletter Collins’ Courier – which boasted about a 36.7 per cent drop in recorded burglaries from 2009-10 to 2010-11.
Police now conduct spot audits countrywide and have all tier-one statistics verified by Statistics NZ to ensure integrity...” more here
Also read our whistleblower’s account – British Cop in Northland: NZ’s “Crime Statistics a Work of Fiction”.
“New Zealand has the highest rate of intimate partner violence in the developed world. Each year, 14 women and eight children are killed by a family member, according to Statistics New Zealand data. The risk of a woman dying at the hands of her partner increases fourfold at the time of trying to end a relationship…” read on
Did you wonder why the reported crime figures for 2010 went down, despite New Zealand being mired in an economic downturn? You need to read this from The Standard:
“Police Minister Judith Collins’ announcement that crime dropped last year left more than a few people scratching their heads. The economic conditions, especially high unemployment, should mean more crime, not less. Now, we’re starting to learn the answer: procedural changes that have wiped thousands of crimes off the stats.
Officially, there were 25,000 fewer crimes last year than in 2009. But it turns out that entire drop can be accounted for by reductions in the numbers of just 35 of the 837 offences. In fact, just 7 offences (all fraud or ‘offence against justice’ offences) that, between them, make up 3% of all crimes made up 21% of the reduction in crime:
2009 2010 change Take/Obtain/Use Doc for Pecuniary Advantage 5070 3602 -1468 Failure To Answer District Court Bail 5574 4309 -1265 Take/Obtain/Use Cred/Bank Crd To Pecuniary Advantage 2795 1779 -1016 Obtain By Deception (Under $500) 1812 1160 -652 Failure To Answer Police Bail 1612 1143 -469 Other Miscellaneous Offences Against Justice 1386 933 -453 Total Offences 451405 426345 -25060
Each of these offences had mysterious drops of between 23% and 36% in a single year.
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- 80% of people questioned think that crime is a serious problem in NZ
- New Zealand locks up people at a rate of 199 per 100,000. The European average is about 80. Australia jails a third less than NZ does, according to figures from the International Centre for Prison Studies.
- 370,000 criminal convictions had been made by NZ courts over the last year. An increase of 9% over the previous year and 40% higher than in 2000. The number of prosecutions per 10,000 people was highest in Rotorua, Gisborne, Taupo, Opotiki and Wairoa. (July 2010)
- Over the same period there were 114 offences for homicide and related offences – which include murder, manslaughter, attempted murder and driving causing death – the highest number for any year in the past decade except 2004.
- In 2009 crime rose 3.5 percent, there were 9% more violent offences – over 65,000. There were 65 murders, up 25% over last year, the highest figure for 10 years 10 years. Serious assaults up 6% and minor assaults increased nearly 12%.
- Police crime statistics released at the beginning of April 2011 showed the number of children under 9 apprehended for assaults in 2010 was 64, almost double the 33 recorded in 2009. Assaults in the 10-13 age group also rose, with 827 apprehensions in 2010, compared to 70 in 2009. The majority of offenders were boys. Read Crime shock: NZ’s little thugs on the NZ Herald’s site
- In the last two years, 58 teachers in NZ have admitted that they have criminal convictions for offences that are punishable by a sentence of more than three months. According to a report in the Sunday News in August 2010 – “Despite the admissions, those who retained or were granted teachers registration included ones convicted of: Indecent assault against a teenage girl, assault with a blunt instrument and male assaults female, possession of an objectionable publication but is awaiting sentence, threatening to kill and assault on a woman, Grievous bodily harm with reckless disregard. A district court judge has also ordered the teachers council to reconsider a primary teacher it banned after she verbally threatened children in class.” Approx. 60% of the convictions were for drink driving.
- Don’t leave your car, or home, unlocked in New Zealand. “In the year to July 1, police attended 263 incidents in Marlborough where houses had been burgled; 48 per cent of those homes were left unlocked. During the same period, 239 cars were broken into, with 50 per cent of those cars left unlocked. Thieves stole 89 cars during the same period; 46 per cent of those were left unlocked and 20 per cent had the keys left in the ignition. Most criminals were quite lazy and would not bother breaking into locked cars and houses.”
- An average of 10 cars a week are stolen in Palmerston North. The most popular cars for thieves were the Subaru Legacy and Impreza, Mitsubishi Lancer, Nissan Skyline, Mazda 323 and the Ford Laser, in that order. Silver was the most popular colour of cars taken. Three of those cars, the Impreza, Lancer and Skyline, also feature on the AA’s top 10 stolen cars list, compiled from insurance claims from 2007 to 2011 throughout the country. (December 2012)
- One in three home detention sentences in Northland are breached. A victims’ rights campaigner has called for a change in the law, saying the number of offenders flouting the rules is making a mockery of the justice system. from July 1, 2008, to June 31, 2009, there were 257 people sentenced to home detention in the region. During that time, there were 92 breaches – 35%.
- There were 35 road deaths in Northland in 2009 – the highest road toll since 2002 plus 101 serious injuries and 68 minor injuries.
Violent Crime, Guns and Gangs
- New Zealand has around 70 organised gangs but it’s not always the patched, full members that are a problem to the wider community, its the ‘propsects’. Prospects are said “to kill for a patch” i.e. the right to get into a patched gang.
- A resident in Tokoroa wants to set-up a vigilante group to stand up to gang intimidation in the town, people have had enough.
- NZ police don’t carry guns but the country has 11 times as many guns per capita as Britain and 60 percent more than Australia where the police are armed. There are an estimated 230,000 licensed firearm owners using approximately 1.1 million firearms, enough for 1 in 4 of the population.
- There are on average six attacks a day on police officers in New Zealand, Counties Manakau in South Auckland is the “most dangerous place to be on the beat.”
- There are no figures for the number of weapons illegally owned by unlicensed people. During a call to one domestic incident in a house in Otahuhu, South Auckland police came across an arms cache of about 45 high powered shot guns and rifles and ammunition. Police confiscated 11 guns from a farmer after a fire on his property caused a major power outage in the North Island
- “Gun-control advocate Philip Alpers estimated only 6 per cent of firearms needed to be registered with police in New Zealand. Alpers, an adjunct associate professor at Sydney University, said these included handguns and military-style or semi-automatic weapons. “[The police] have no way of even counting the legitimate guns, they don’t have a clue. “By definition, we can’t accurately estimate the number of illegal firearms out there. It’s like estimating the number of ounces of P on the market.”
- A Prison Officer in New Plymouth quit following an investigation into allegations that Black Power gang members were given special treatment during their murder trial. The guards were allegedly taking orders from a senior Black Power member. It appears that a local police officer had witnessed what went on but did not make a formal complaint although he did help with the inquiries.
- More than 200 police officers are under investigation for assault and using excessive force. A total of 22 officers from Waitemata District, 30 from Counties Manukau and 24 from the Bay of Plenty are under investigation, according to data obtained by the NZ Herald under the Public Information Act.
- Christchurch has earned itself the title of “Murder Capital of New Zealand”, not so much for the number of murders there but for the shockingly brutal and depraved way in which the killers slaughter their victims.
- “Tairawhiti has been labelled the domestic violence capital of New Zealand — it is tragically common here, but the awareness we have helped raise means this region also has very high levels of incident-reporting by family members and neighbours.” Editorial in the Gisborne Herald
- 4 violent crimes have been committed every day since the ‘3 strikes’ law was introduced. As of 17 June 2010, 60 people had been charged with 70 offences on the list. If the charges become convictions, each of those people would be issued with a first strike. The large numbers of offences have caused fears of prison overcrowding in NZ. (28 June 2010)
- There was a total of 1,160 aggravated robberies in 2008, hardly a day goes by without an armed robbery occurring somewhere in New Zealand.
- “57 New Zealanders are behind bars in other countries. They are serving sentences for offences including murder, manslaughter, drugs, fraud and assault.”
Drugs and alcohol
- Methamphetamine (P) has New Zealand in it’s grip. A former Hamilton detective has accused the Government of a “head in the sand mentality” when it comes to New Zealand’s growing drug culture. New Zealand now rates as the third highest number of P users per capita in the world.
- On average 200 P labs are discovered on residential streets every year in New Zealand. “Drug experts warn the makeshift labs are ticking time bombs that pose a risk to their occupants and to those who live unsuspectingly alongside them…Often the labs are uncovered only by accident – or after they explode.” The number uncovered is declining as ‘cooks’ get more adept at hiding them.
- The increase in the drug P has fuelled a rise in insurance claims for damage caused to buildings during the manufacture of the drug. A spokesman for the Insurance Council estimates the costs are between $5 million – $10 million over the last year (Dec 2010)
- “Supercity mayoral candidate Simon Prast has admitted to having used P. The high-profile actor and director says prohibiting use of the Class A drug is “hypocritical”, when people are getting drunk and beating their wives, and the Government is profiting from tobacco sales.”
- The justice system is failing Kiwis. “The Family of a solo mother killed by one of the country’s worst drink-drivers said the system has failed them after the repeat offender was jailed for four years. Chronic alcoholic Warren John Jenkins, 49, had been out of jail for 10 days when he crashed into Katherine “Rin” Kennedy, 46, on State Highway 2 outside Kerikeri on March 17. Tests showed he was twice the legal limit. He had been serving a three-month term for his 16th drink-driving conviction and was indefinitely disqualified from driving.” source Stuff.co.nz “He had breached all his former home detention sentences.”
- Almost half of the 10046 drivers killed in the last 5 years in road traffic accidents were found to have drugs or alcohol in their blood. Drink drive programs could be being undermined by the high number of drivers using cannabis.
- A lawyer claimed he could dilate his pupils A lawyer suspected of drunken abuse has denied drinking and claimed he had “the ability to dilate his pupils and manipulate his facial expression”.
- Northland has the country’s worst rate of repeat drink drivers in the country, an average of six a day are caught.
Theft and property crimes
- Glen Massey, near Ngaruawahia in rural Waikato. An elderly couple were shot at by a gang of burglars in their home in March 2011. Residents say this was just the latest in a spate of incidents in the area. Gate posts are being chainsawed off and security chains are ripped apart so that thieves can gain access to rural properties. Very often these gangs use children as young as 12 to suss-out properties before cleaning them out. Read more here
- Residents of Takapuna and Northcote (North Shore) are being urged to lock their houses after a spate of burglaries targeting Asian people.
- Police have moved into Opononi Area School to combat a spate of burglaries in holiday homes. At least 7 homes in Opononi and on State Highway 12 at Omapere, Northland, have been broken into in the past two months (August 2010)
- Rotorua is presently experiencing 50 burglaries a week, last year the average was 30 (17 July 2010)
- Whangarei averages about 27 burglaries a week (108 a month) The hotspots are Kamo Rd, with 14 burglaries reported since the start of the year, William Jones Drive 13, Raumanga Valley Rd 10, Mill Rd and Park Ave 8 each and Corks Rd 6.
- Nelson Bays averaged about 71 burglaries a month in 2009, or 847 in the year. This is an increase of 230 over 2008’s figures.
- Tasman District averages 127 burglaries a month, or 1519 in 2009. That’s a rise of 248 since 2008.
- The Verbena Bar and Restaurant in Birkdale, North Shore, has been broken into three times over the space of a month. Owner Steve Thompson says he’s had enough.
- Stealing from cars is the most commonly reported form of theft in New Zealand, in 2009 there were 43,105 incidents reported – that’s almost five every hour – according to a Herald report
- Stolen car claims exceed $100,000,000 per annum. Police figures show that 20,000 cars are stolen in New Zealand every year, insurance claims are double that figure. “6500 cars never found are a huge source of business for gangs who steal the cars to order for parts, or to “rebirth” into legitimate vehicles.”
- Alcohol offences skyrocketed in Palmerston North during 2009, up from 87 to 409 on the previous year.
- United States intelligence reports last year named New Zealand as a destination for traffickers from across Asia, particularly Malaysia, Hong Kong and China. “Asian women lured to New Zealand with cash offers to work in the sex industry are being forced to work in slave-like conditions, a Herald investigation has found.” However, police say it’s not their responsibility to deal with what they consider to be an ‘immigration issue.’ No one knows if the immigration service are proactive in finding and releasing women forced to work under these conditions. Only Australian’s are permitted to work in NZ on a temporary permit.
- More than 130 sex offenders are living under supervision in Christchurch and over half of them have committed crimes against children according to data obtained by The Press under the Official Information Act. At the end of June 2010 there were 131 sex offenders living in Christchurch, 127 in central Auckland and 92 in Wellington.
- The estimated social cost of sexual violence in NZ $1.2 billion per year. It is NZ’s most costly crime.
- Five teachers disciplined for offences ranging from sex with students to watching porn in a classroom have had their identities protected as calls to “name and shame” grow. The rulings prompted fresh calls for an end to the secret nature of the Teachers’ Council.
Police, Prisons and Law Enforcement
- Less than one in five police staff feel “engaged” in their job, the 2010 NZ Police Workplace Survey has found. The survey has revealed 37 percent didn’t believe bosses would deal “appropriately” with complaints about harassment, bullying or discrimination. And 35 percent of the 9820 surveyed staff didn’t believe they could alert bosses to such behaviour “without fear of reprisal”. Police Association president Greg O’Connor said he found the figures “quite disturbing”. source
- More Police Officers have been murdered in NZ over the last 10 years than in the whole of Australia where the police are armed. Assaults on police have risen more than 90 percent in the last 10 years, 7 police had been shot in the last 2 years.
- Sixteen people have died so far this year after vehicle pursuits by police (Oct 2010) “An international expert in police pursuits says New Zealand’s policy which enables high-speed chases for minor offences is 20 years out of date. A police review of pursuit policy this year – the fourth in six years – ignored key recommendations of the Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) and made only minor changes.” “Road safety campaigner, the Candor Trust, says police pursuits have increased five-fold in the past seven years to 2500 last year.”NZ Herald
- “Former police headquarters manager Jon Moss received nearly half a year’s salary after he “resigned” from the force, halting an internal investigation into his behaviour. Mr Moss began working for the Real Estate Agents Authority in March and the following month was appointed its senior enforcement manager – a decision now the subject of a review by an independent lawyer.” “Mr Moss quit the force when an internal inquiry started into allegations that he had a long-running affair with a junior constable, Katie Scott.”
- “A new prison to be built in South Auckland will bring $1.2 billion in economic benefits over 30 years, Corrections Minister Judith Collins says. But she has been criticised for announcing the gains to be had from higher crime and more prisoners.”
- Vigilantes in Martinborough were praised for “cleaning up the town” and let off without conviction despite them admitting to possessing an offensive weapon and recklessly discharging a firearm during a violent street fracas on May 21 last year. Vigilantes are needed because of a lack of police officers.
- The Police Complaints Authority found that the police failed in their “duty to protect” when they responded to the shooting of Navtej Singh who later died. A family spokesman said “no one in New Zealand would be safe until police get more resources, including body armour to protect against gunfire and firearms in their patrol cars.”
- More than 100 Corrections Department staff were sacked or suspended in the space of two years for illegal or inappropriate behaviour. Figures released under the Official Information Act show 111 staff members were stood down in 2008 and 2009, 49 of them indefinitely.
- Prison guards in New Plymouth are under investigation for allegedly giving special treatment to Black Power gang members on trial for murder.