New Zealand burglary rate increases 12 percent


Police Minister Judith Collins says an immigration-fuelled increase in New Zealand's population means more opportunity for burglaries.

Latest crime statistics show burglaries in New Zealand are on the rise, with the number of burglaries around the country has risen 11.9 percent in the past year.

New Zealand burglary rate increases 12 percent

"It's pretty clear to me that if you have more people you have more opportunities for things like burglaries, but also methamphetamine is also a big driver of crime in this country, particularly around burglaries," she says.

"There is no doubt in my mind that police are taking this increase in the burglary rate very seriously."

Labour leader Andrew Little says fewer police officers has meant a rise in burglaries, robberies and assaults.

"The responsibility for this rise in crime lies entirely at the feet of this Government."

He says while New Zealand's population has increased, there's been a "freeze" on police numbers.

"When you have a growing population, as we have here, it makes sense - you have got to add your police numbers to keep pace with what's going on."

Auckland City was the only police district to record a reduction in its burglary rate, down 10 percent on the year before.

It was announced this week that home burglaries will be treated as priority offences, and all break-ins will be attended by police.

"These changes show that police recognise the significant impact that burglary has on individual, families and communities, and that they are committed to reducing this type of crime and increasing resolution rates," Ms Collins says.

Mr Little criticised the new policy, saying if police need to visit every burglary scene "they're going to have to drop something else they'll be otherwise doing".

"You can't get the police to be doing more and more while the population is growing without something giving."

New Zealand First is demanding more frontline police officers, saying they'll need to increase by 1800 if they hold the balance of power after next year's election.

The latest official crime statistics show police recorded 11,171 more 'victimisations' than the same period last year, equating to a 2.3 percent increase. More than three-quarters of the cases were burglaries.