Government and Police versus burglaries

The Government is getting more openly involved in trying to combat crime. John Key has written to Asian communities trying to give them reassurances, and Judith Collins has announced that the Police will now attend all reported burglaries to try and improve the 10% rate of solving this insidious crime.

NZ Herald: PM’s open letter after fears of people taking law into own hands

Prime Minister John Key says an open letter he wrote to the Chinese community about burglaries was partly prompted by concerns people would start arming themselves to defend themselves and their property.

Key’s ‘open letter to the Chinese community’ was sent to four Chinese newspapers this week. It was a modified version of a column he wrote for about 30 ethnic media outlets.

Key said it was aimed at reassuring those communities the Government was taking the issue of crime seriously.

He said crime was often raised with him by ethnic communities. High profile burglaries or assaults sometimes prompted concern an ethnic group was vulnerable or being targeted.

Key said he himself had been burgled three or four times “and I know what an invasive and disturbing experience this can be.”

It said Police were now putting more focus on preventing and resolving burglaries and from September 1 would treat it as a priority, including a goal of attending every burglary scene.

“I would like to reassure you National remains as focused as ever on preventing crime and helping to keep our communities safe.”

The Government has been under pressure over low resolution rates for burglaries.

Yesterday Minister Judith Collins announced a greater focus by Police on addressing a major problem with burglaries.

Police take further steps to counter burglary

Police Minister Judith Collins welcomes Police’s decision to attend all house break-ins, which comes into effect today.

While burglary rates are still below that of recent years, there has been an increase over the past 12 months. Police has responded by raising dwelling burglary from a volume crime to a priority offence.

“This shows Police are serious about tackling burglary and also sends a clear message to offenders.”

The new policy sets the expectation of full attendance at dwelling burglaries so the public can now expect either a constabulary or scene of crime officer to attend within a reasonable time.

“Given the nature of policing there will be occasions where they cannot attend a dwelling burglary for a range of reasons, including adhering to the wishes of the victim. However, the Commissioner of Police has made his expectations clear.

“Police have assured me that they continue to make burglary a priority with ongoing work in every district to reduce this crime type while also focusing on increasing resolution rates.”

If police attend all burglaries it will give them more visibility in the community, which may help address other types of crime too.

While not raised here the number of police officers is becoming a bigger issue.