Queenstown cops happy with increase in crime statistics

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A slight increase in local crime rates is being put down to a boost in visitor numbers in the resort.

Queenstown police say they’re pleased there’s only a 1.2 per cent rise in total recorded and resolved crime rates for 2010.

In figures released today, a total of 1897 incidents have been registered in the resort, compared with 1875 in 2009.

Last year 1086 incidents were resolved, down two from 1088 in 2009.

However, there was a 17.6 per cent increase in local assaults, to 240, from 204 the previous year.

There were eight sexual assaults last year compared to five in 2009.

Unlawful entry with intent, or burglary incidents, were down 11.2 per cent, from 95 last year compared with 107 in 2009. 

Thefts, not including motor vehicle thefts, were up 6.8 per cent, from 409 to 437.

Manufacture or cultivation of drugs figures shot up 575 per cent – from eight in 2009 to 54 last year.

“We are pretty happy with the way things are going,” senior sergeant John Fookes says.

“When you look at the increase in population over the last few years and the general increase in tourism numbers, in real terms there’s probably been a decrease in crime per head of population.”

Fookes adds: “It’s simply the law of numbers – the more [people] you get, the more [crime] you’re likely to get.

Meanwhile, total recorded crime in the police’s Otago Rural area – comprising Queenstown, Central Otago and Waitaki – decreased 4.2 per cent.

The total number of recorded offences for the wider area was 5925, down from 6183 in 2009.

Crime resolution rate went up from 54.5 per cent in 2009 to 57.1 per cent.