Drop in city's crime stats 'pleasing'

Crime in the Dunedin area has dropped by 2.8 per cent, according to figures released by Statistics New Zealand today.

There were 300 fewer victims of crime in 2013 than in 2012, the figures show.

"The results reinforce the fact that the wider Dunedin area is one of the safest places in the country to live and visit," Relieving Dunedin Clutha Waitaki Area Commander Inspector Jason Guthrie said.

Reductions in theft (-7.0% or 221 fewer victims), property damage (-8.1% or 190 fewer victims), and public order offending (-7.1% or 89 fewer victims), are particularly pleasing, he said.

"But the job is not done."

Today's figures showed that nationally offences dropped by 4.1 per cent in the last calendar year, with 15,602 fewer crimes recorded last year than in 2012. 

Meanwhile, rural Otago recorded a 6.1 per cent drop.

Total recorded crime in the region, including the local authority areas of Queenstown Lakes and Central Otago, continued its downward trend in 2013, Statistics New Zealand figures showed.

Reported offences dropped by 6.1 per cent in the 2013 calendar year, while the resolution rate in the Otago Rural area was 57.5 per cent.

In total, there were 3013 recorded offences in the region in 2013, down from 3210 in 2012.

"These figures continue to build on the crime reductions made over recent years," Inspector Andrew Burns Acting Area Commander for Otago Rural said. The number of offences classed as acts intending to cause injury decreased, dropping 6.2 per cent, (365 down from 389) in 2013.

Theft and related offences decreased by 5.1 per cent (804 down from 847), and offences related to property damage continued to decline, down 7.8 per cent (497 down from 539) from the previous year.

Sexual assault and related offences (up nine offences or 64.3 per cent) and robbery, extortion and related offences (up by two incident or 66.7 per cent) both showed significant percentage increases on the previous year but the actual number of offences was low, Mr Burns said.

There was also a slight increase in illicit drug offences, which rose by 3.3 per cent. Mr Burns attributed the rise to the successful termination of Operation Viking in the Wanaka sub-area.


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