Ram-raids down from 2022 peak, still averaging over one per day – new data

  • 10/11/2023

New police figures show there has been over one ram-raid each day, on average, in 2023 – and the year isn't over yet. 

While police data shows 407 ram-raids were identified between January 2023 to September 2023, the number is on track to decrease this year from its peak in 2022, which saw 707 ram-raids recorded. 

However, the number of ram-raids this year to date has almost surpassed that of 2021, which saw 412. 

The monthly number of Ram Raid occurrences since 1st April 2017 to 30th
September 2023.
The monthly number of Ram Raid occurrences since 1st April 2017 to 30th September 2023. Photo credit: NZ Police

There were 28 ram-raids in September, compared to 33 in August. Of the ram-raids in September, 19 were at shops, two were at petrol stations, one was at a supermarket, three were classified as 'other retail', and three more were classified as commercial. 

Looking at where the ram-raids took place, the data found the police district with the most recorded in September was Canterbury at 12. Five were in Auckland City, five were in Waikato, two were in Waitemata, and one ram-raid was recorded in Eastern, Tasman, Bay of Plenty and Counties Manukau respectively. 

The majority of ram-raid offenders (23) in September were young people aged between 14 and 17. Two were children aged between 10 and 13, and three were over 18 years old.  

The data showed there have been nine prosecutions against offenders in September: two investigations were closed with no further action and 17 investigations remain ongoing. 

"Police recognises the impact of retail crime on business owners and staff and takes reports of ram raids very seriously," police said. "Responses are normally district-managed and include significant investigative action to identify and hold those responsible to account." 

A strengthened multi-agency response is also being trialled in parts of Auckland to address the underlying factors that lead to young people engaging in risky behaviour and offending. 

Meanwhile, the Government has also allocated $6 million from the Proceeds of Crime Fund for a crime prevention programme which will include solutions such as installing bollards or other security for small retailers.  

Earlier this year, the Government also announced it would create a new ram raid offence in the Crimes Act 1961, with a maximum penalty of 10 years' imprisonment. 

The Ram Raid Offending and Related Measures Amendment Bill has passed its first reading in Parliament; however, it is not yet reflected in the above data. 

Police said since a ram-raid is not an offence with its own offence code, it makes the collation of data problematic. The data is also drawn from a live data set that can change as investigations progress and hence the data, even for a similar period, can differ if analysed on two different days. 

Police said on a national scale, some of this weakness in the data is likely to be averaged out, but the graphs provided remain indicative as accuracy cannot be guaranteed.