Burglaries and crime are always a hot topic of debate. In the news recently we’ve seen The Salvation Army releasing their annual ‘State of the Nation’ report, the police releasing their latest statistics on crime and the NZ Herald doing a week long editorial on burglaries in New Zealand.
While some accounts depict crime in New Zealand to be declining, some suggest that it may not always be due to fewer crimes occurring, but rather are a reflection of changes to the way crimes are reported. The Salvation Army’s ‘State of the Nation: Moving Targets’ report claims that government agencies are “inventing” new numbers and changing the way crime reduction targets are measured to make their performance appear better. The police are always trying to find better ways of analyzing crime statistics and to operate smarter. This sometimes means it is difficult to directly compare old and new statistics, if offences are categorized differently.
In the 18 months following on from a 2014 category change, police logged 97,707 burglaries at residential and commercial properties nationwide. Of these, a total of 59,845 went unsolved meaning that burglars got away with an average of 164 burglaries a day! The national resolution rate for 2015 also dropped into single digits for the first time, hitting a record low of 9.3% – with the lowest resolution rate being in Auckland at 7.2%.
It has been suggested in some quarters that because of low burglary resolution rates that some offences are now not even being reported. However, this recently released burglary map provides reported break in statistics.
Wherever the truth on burglary numbers is, it is pretty clear that we all need to take sensible precautions to avoid our own homes and businesses becoming statistics.