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Burglaries tell crime story: police union

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 31/08/2016

The increase in burglaries in the latest national crime statistics could be a symptom of bigger problems, the Police Association says.

Figures released by Statistics NZ for July show that police recorded 11,171 more "victimisations" than the same period last year, or an increase of a 2.3 per cent.

They also show an 11.9 per cent rise in burglaries in the 12-month period to July, compared with the previous year.

Police Association president Greg O'Connor says that, while many types of offences can fluctuate, burglary figures tend to be a good litmus test of criminal activity.

"The danger is that we do not recognise that burglaries are often a symptom of bigger problems, especially organised crime and drug problems," he said.

"The prevalence of methamphetamine, both in the number of seizures and as a factor in crime, shows the need to attack crime across all dimensions."

Mr O'Connor said the government had to find the money to increase police numbers across the board to address community concerns about crime.

Police Minister Judith Collins, commenting on the burglary figures, said she had no doubt police were taking the increase seriously.

"Police announced recently that they were raising dwelling burglary from a volume crime to a priority offence and the Commissioner of Police has also made clear his expectation that police will now attend all dwelling burglaries," she said.

"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."

Opposition Leader Andrew Little said the increase in crime nationwide was a direct result of cuts to police.

"National has failed to ensure police numbers keep up with population growth," he said.

"Labour welcomes the Police Minister's call for police to attend every burglary as over 90% remain unsolved. But with no plan, timeline or police numbers, this is just talk."

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