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Friday, August 26, 2005

Crime figures twisted for political reasons

Jordan Carter, campaign manager for Labour's Wellington Central candidate, on the latest crime statistics released by the New Zealand Police:
Today's crime stats are *excellent* news. Recorded offences in the Wellington police district are down by 12.7%, the largest fall in the country. It's really nice to see that investment in police, combined with tighter sentencing laws and a dramatic fall in poverty and unemployment, are working together to lead to a safer society.
From the New Zealand Herald, 13 Nov 2004:
Several officers who spoke to the Weekend Herald said there was an unwritten message not to go after gangs and drug labs because dealing with the labs was too difficult and because police chiefs did not want crime statistics to look bad.
North Shore District police officer:
"Our boss has decreed that we don't target gangs specifically," he said.

"They have buried their heads in the sand, saying that if we don't target it, we don't create a statistic and therefore we don't look bad."
The President of the Police Association:
Police Association president Greg O'Connor said the claims were true, but the orders would never be found written in a memo.
Mr O'Connor said the association was concerned, but he did not blame the district commanders, whose performance was measured by crime statistics.
I wonder if O'Connor is saying all blame lies with Police Commissioner Rob Robinson, installed in the top job after Helen Clark destroyed the career of previous Police Commissioner Peter Doone by lying to the Sunday Star-Times?

Another police officer:
"They had to get special permission to raid them. The bosses weren't interested in the labs. They were interested in dishonesty offences."
"The bosses want to put the resources into focusing on things like burglaries. When we say these offences are all connected, they are not interested. It's all traffic and dishonesty offences."
The categories of crime Jordan calculated as declining the most in Wellington District are Dishonesty offences (-19.5%) and Property abuse offences (-13.3%). Drug offences follow at -8.7%.
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Posted by Antarctic Lemur | 8/26/2005 02:31:00 am


Blogger Whaleoil said...

In Auckalnd the Counties Manukau Aera has been pulling its collective hair out with local community groups like the Greenmount East Tamaki Busniss Association who ring up and report anything from suspicious loiterers, stairdancers to actual break ins. They wanted those groups to stop as it was throwing out their statistics. in the GETBA area alone that organisation contributed to a 30% rise in reported crime until told by the police to shut up.

8/26/2005 08:45:00 am  
Blogger Lucyna said...

What are "dishonesty" offences?

8/26/2005 09:24:00 am  
Blogger Gooner said...

Theft, Fraud etc.

Good work AL. I've given up trying to explain the stats are a crock of s***. It pains me.

8/26/2005 09:41:00 am  
Blogger Lucyna said...

So, Gooner, if theft is classed as dishonesty, why isn't it the same as burglary? My kids have asked me how theives and burglars are different and I've told them that they are basically the same. Sounds like I might be wrong.

8/26/2005 11:56:00 am  
Blogger RightWingDeathBeast said...


Burglary requires unlawfully entering somebody else's property (I think, I'm no lawyer).

8/26/2005 01:12:00 pm  
Blogger Dave said...

Theft is when you nick something without force (shoplifting comes to mind) Burglary is when you use force (like breaking into a car)

A dishonesty offence is when someone like Hawkins says that crime has gone down because more reported crime has been solved, even when less crime has been reported.

8/27/2005 01:33:00 am  

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