Police Minister Welcomes Fall In Crime

  • Jack Elder

The fall in both the crime rate and recorded crime last year was welcomed today by Police Minister Jack Elder.

"The continuation of the downward trend is a reflection of the commitment of this Government and the efforts of the Police to ensure community safety."

Statistics released by Police today showed the rate of recorded crime on a population basis fell by 4.07 percent last year. Total recorded crime also fell by nearly one percent.

"On a population basis, the crime rate is at its lowest level since 1990, a fact that should finally kibosh the farcical claims by Opposition doom-mongers that crime is out of control," Mr Elder said.

It also confirms the statement made by Police Commissioner Peter Doone to the Justice and Law Reform Select Committee that it was a myth crime was out of control in New Zealand, Mr Elder said.

"I also congratulate Police for increasing the percentage of recorded crime that is resolved. This is a mark of the dedication of frontline staff, and the strategies adopted by Police management.

"The fall in the crime rate is good news for all New Zealanders, and I can assure the public this Government remains committed to reducing it even further," Mr Elder said.

"This year the Government budgeted an extra $53 million to boost policing capability, particularly to fight gangs and organised crime, respond to emergencies and target burglaries, violence and sexual offences."

The Budget also confirmed the Coalition Agreement target of 500 extra frontline police over this Government's first three year term of office will be met in full. Other initiatives will further increase the frontline ability to fight crime.

"The current review of Police administration aims to move resources from the back room to the front line. Any and all savings identified in streaming the management structure will be reinvested in the Police."

The road safety statistics are also encouraging, although Mr Elder sounded a note of caution that the winter months usually cause an increase in accidents.

"The year with the lowest number of road fatalities in 32 years was 1996. On this date in that year there had been 233 fatalities. So far this year there have been 220."