Press Release – New Zealand Police
A focus on working with key partners and the community of Dunedin Clutha to prevent crime and crash was a key contributing factor to 11.6% reduction in reported crime in the Dunedin Clutha Area in the year to 30 June 2012.Reported Crime in Dunedin Clutha Decreases 11.6%
A focus on working with key partners and the community of Dunedin Clutha to prevent crime and crash was a key contributing factor to 11.6% reduction in reported crime in the Dunedin Clutha Area in the year to 30 June 2012.
The 11.6% reduction corresponds to over 1200 fewer offences, down from 10,951 offences in the year to 30 June 2011 to 9,685 offences in the year to 30 June 2012.
Disorderly behaviour offences dropped 21.2% (270 fewer offences). One of the reasons for this is a proactive approach to policing especially in the central city, said Dunedin Clutha Area Commander, Inspector Greg Sparrow.
Police were highly visible in Dunedin’s Octagon, especially on weekend nights and worked closely and cooperatively with nightclub and bar owners.
“This will be a continuing focus for Police and is also a contributing factor to the reduction in reported assaults of 5.8%, which translates to 70 fewer victims.”
Inspector Sparrow said the majority of assaults were fuelled by alcohol and Police took a low tolerance approach to alcohol-related offending. Often low-level offending such as disorderly behaviour or breaches of liquor ban can escalate into more serious offending, he said.
“We will always take some level of positive action when encountering offences such as these, as it’s about preventing an escalation in offending and reducing the likelihood of a person becoming a victim.”
Inspector Sparrow said that although the total number of assaults reduced, addressing family violence remained a strong focus for Police.
“Ensuring that victims and their families are safe is at the forefront of our policing strategy. We are committed to taking some form of action against family violence offenders and then working with organisations and the family concerned to address the underlying causes of victimisation and offending,” he said.
In the year to 30 June 2012 reported vehicle crime dropped by 5.3% (59 offences).
“Vehicle crime is a major contributor to our overall reported crime. It’s always important for people to be mindful of securing their vehicle and not leaving valuable property in it. If you can park your vehicle up a driveway or in a garage it is significantly less likely to be broken into than if it was parked on the street. If you can’t park it off the road then make sure there’s nothing of value in it and it’s locked.”
Reported burglaries in Dunedin Clutha dropped by 7.3% (68 offences). Inspector Sparrow said several initiatives in North Dunedin involving Neighbourhood Support and the University of Otago have resulted in a decrease in reported burglaries in that area.
However, Inspector Sparrow said people still need to take basic steps for ensuring they didn’t become victims of burglary.
“Closing windows and locking doors is a start as is putting valuables such as laptop computers out of view. It is also important that people report any vehicles or people who appear suspicious.”
“Often when we undertake enquiries into a burglary, neighbours had seen suspicious activity but hadn’t reported it at the time. It’s really important that people call us if they see someone acting suspiciously as it can sometimes provide the important link that solves a crime and stops someone else becoming a victim.”
Reported property damage decreased by 19.3% or 458 offences and Inspector Sparrow again urged anyone who saw someone damaging property to contact police immediately.
Inspector Sparrow said Dunedin Clutha Police were currently developing and implementing measures to address victimisation and to prevent re-victimisation. He said that tackling the issues of victimisation was a problem that needed to be addressed jointly by the community, partners and the Police.
Total crime across Southern District is down 11.2 percent, from 24,933 to 22,133 in the year to 30 June 2012. The percentage of crime solved (known as the resolution rate) has also increased from 54.5% in the year to 30 June 2011 to 56% in the year to 30 June 2012.
Superintendent Bob Burns, Southern District Commander, says that the latest further district-wide decrease in crime, the third consecutive decrease, validates the fantastic work Southern staff carry out 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, on behalf of Southern communities.
“The shift from a more traditional model of policing to a stronger proactive and preventative model has had a major and positive impact on preventing and reducing crime,” he says.
“Our intelligence-driven preventative policing model gives us better understanding of who our most active criminals are, what locations attract the most calls for police service and which victims are at greatest risk of re-victimisation. We can act with more urgency, make better deployment decisions, and work with key community partners to address identified drivers of crime to ensure we provide the greatest impact on the criminal environment and make real and sustained reductions in reported crime.”
Supt. Burns says the key for Southern is ‘sustained’ reductions.
“I am particularly pleased that another significant decrease has occurred and, more importantly, all of our three policing areas (Southland, Otago Rural and Dunedin Clutha) have contributed to this great overall result.”