Statistics show increase in homicide figures

Police are concerned after new statistics show violent crime is consistently on the rise, as other areas of crime decrease. Photo: Wikimedia
Police are concerned that new statistics show violent crime is consistently on the rise, as other areas of crime decrease. Photo: Wikimedia

Figures released by Statistics New Zealand show an increase of over 30% from the previous recorded year in violent homicide crime, despite a drop in overall crime in New Zealand.

The statistic reported forty-two homicide crimes in 2015 – rising from thirty in 2014. This is the highest number since 1999.

Despite the consistent rise in these figures, general crime has been on a gradual decline since a record high in 2011.

In 2011, the total national offence numbers hit a high of 54,012 and had consistently declined with 2015 figures reading 44,058.

Despite this drop in total crimes nationwide, violent crime, most notably homicide, continues to rise annually.

An area of concern is West Auckland, where violent crime has been on the increase considerably over the last decade.

Labour member for Te Atatu, Phil Twyford, shared his concerns with a group of community members saying, “What kind of country have we become when a dairy owner is killed in his shop at 7 o’clock in the morning allegedly by a child with a knife?”

Mr Twyford added, “The young accused were well-known to local shopkeepers in a retail centre where begging, intimidation and anti-social behaviour have unfortunately been all too common”.

Some community leaders have expressed concern at the level of policing of crime and believe it is due to a directive to work on the revenue stream created through traffic violations.

Recently Assistant Police Commissioner Grant Nicholls said: “Violent offending continued to be a concern for police.”

There was also a rise in violent offending, included threatening behaviour, assaults and possession of weapons – issues compounded by the misuse of drugs and alcohol, he said.

Anti-crime advocate Garth McVicar says there has been a hardening of public attitudes towards crime, which will eventually lead to a reduction in violent offending.

The Sensible Sentencing Trust spokesperson was speaking after the release of the latest police figures which show over thirty percent increase in violent crime.

Mr McVicar said the results were not surprising.

The statistics can be found here.

Dan Mcleod