Police admit error after revelation up to three times more ram raids reported than Government data shows

The handling of Government data is again in question, with new police numbers showing there have been dozens more ram raids than initially reported.

It comes barely a week after Te Whatu Ora was forced to admit the publication of inaccurate Emergency Department figures.

A run-of-the-mill sight in Auckland, new CCTV footage obtained by Newshub shows a St Heliers shop front smashed in last week before a stream of people entered and took off with the till.

On the surface, it's a fairly black-and-white crime but data around ram raids is anything but clear. The police on Wednesday admitted to errors.

"There's definitely been a process issue that we acknowledge about how we've answered some questions and that's been a process issue we've identified and rectified," assistant Police Commissioner Bruce O'Brien said.

When Prime Minister Chris Hipkins was the Police Minister, his responses to written parliamentary questions (WPQs) said there were fewer ram raids than we now know occurred.

Take the peak last August, the Minister's office reported 67 but data now shows 116. 

For September, 60 ram raids are now 85 and in October, 26 were actually 76 ram raids - nearly three times as many. 

"I know that there's a whole lot of written WPQs that have gone out at different times and we are still working through the process to understand exactly the data set that those have been answered from," O'Brien said.

That's because police use two different sets of data to track ram raids. 

One simply tracks the number of ram raids and another works out who meets specific criteria for protective measures like bollards or fog cannons.

Police now have to make things a lot clearer.

"That has definitely been a process that we need to improve," Prime Minister Chris Hipkins said.

Hipkins' media team has continuously ignored Newshub's questions on the data issue.

On Wednesday, the Prime Minister was forced to defer to no one since Stuart Nash resigned as Police Minister.

"That's a question for the Minister of Police. As soon as we've got one, I'll tell ya," Hipkins said.

Data disasters covering both crime and health - two major election issues - occurring in successive weeks.