Crime drops for 4th year

Constable Donald Hillis, of Queenstown. Total recorded crime in Queenstown Lakes, Central Otago...
Constable Donald Hillis, of Queenstown. Total recorded crime in Queenstown Lakes, Central Otago and Waitaki, continued its downward trend in 2012, new figures show. Photo by James Beech.
Police credit a greater emphasis on preventing crimefor the fourth consecutive decrease in crime in the Southern district.

Total recorded crime in Otago Rural, the authority area which encompasses Queenstown-Lakes, Central Otago and Waitaki, continued its downward trend in 2012.

Otago Rural again recorded further reductions in the total amount of crime reported with a decrease of 2.4% in the year to December 31.

The total number of recorded offences in 2012 was 4786, down from 4902 in 2011.

''These figures continue to build on the significant crime reductions made over the past three years across Otago Rural and reflect the efforts of our staff, in conjunction with our communities and partner agencies, in working hard to prevent and reduce crime in our communities,'' Inspector Alastair Dickie, relieving area commander, Otago Rural, said in a statement yesterday.

''Our local deployment and tasking and co-ordination processes continue to ensure a strong and consistent focus in striving to reduce crime across the Otago Rural area,'' he said.

Burglary and related dishonesty offending dropped 11.9%, there being 304 offences in 2012, down from 345 in 2011.

Property damage fell 6.6% and acts intended to cause injury decreased 3.4%.

Total crime across the Southern district was down 5.2%, from 22,964 offences in the year to December 31, 2011, to 21,761 offences in the year to December 31, 2012. The percentage of crime solved, known as the resolution rate, increased slightly from 54.4% to 55.7%.

Acting Southern district commander Acting Superintendent Lane Todd said the latest district-wide decrease in crime reflected the work and dedication of Southern police.

''These figures continue to endorse the fact that we are directing our efforts in the right way, with a more targeted approach to tackling crime and a greater emphasis on preventing crime before it happens,'' Acting Supt Todd said.

''With the introduction of new systems this year, such as a centralised district file management centre and the mobility roll-out of iPhones and iPads to staff - both aimed at reducing the burden of paperwork on the frontline and getting more staff out on the streets - Southern is keen to make even greater gains in crime reduction.

''These new systems and technologies will further support our crime prevention operating strategy with the goal of reducing victimisation in our communities and making the places we work, live and play even safer,'' he said.

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