Police plan to keep crime stats down with new targets

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Ambitious targets to further reduce crime in Queenstown and the wider rural Otago area have been set despite offending continuing to drop.

Police released nationwide crime statistics today and like New Zealand recorded crime rates declining, figures for the Queenstown Lakes district have also dipped.

Otago Rural – comprising Queenstown Lakes, Central Otago and Waitaki – has seen a 14.1 per cent drop in recorded crime in the year to June 30, 2012. The total number of recorded offences was 4800, down from 5589 in 2011 and 6024 in the year to June 2010.

New Zealand’s crime rates have dropped 5.2 per cent from 416,324 to 394,522 recorded offences for the 2012 fiscal year.

Otago Rural area commander inspector Mike Cook says police in his patch have ensured a “strong and consistent approach” to crime prevention via local tasking and coordination processes.

“These figures continue to build on the 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, who are all working hard to prevent and reduce crime in our communities,” Cook says.

“As we move forward, Otago Rural will continue to set ambitious crime reduction targets to ensure that our communities remain amongst the safest in NZ.”

Over the next nine months police will implement new initiatives and tools that are designed to free up frontline staff from bureaucratic processes. As a result, police will be able to increase their visibility and accessibility in the community, Cook adds.

Otago Rural’s decreasing rates:
– Acts intending to cause injury, down 13.4 per cent from 580 to 502
– Theft and related offences, down 5.2 per cent from 1416 to 1342
– Offences relating to property damage, down 18.8 per cent from 1083 to 879