Bridges’ dodgy crime statistics

Written By: - Date published: 9:19 am, May 27th, 2019 - 26 comments
Categories: crime, law, law and "order", national, police, prisons, same old national, Simon Bridges - Tags:

Holy lauranorda.  Simon Bridges has chosen to try and deflect away from problems caused by the Tamaki inspired Coalition New Zealand announcement by getting on the crime bandwagon.

He has come out with some statistics and then claimed that crime is out of control.  From the Herald:

National leader Simon Bridges says the number of cases before the courts involving serious harm has increased by 25 per cent since the election in 2017.

He is basing his statement on answers to written parliamentary questions from Justice Minister Andrew Little to National’s justice spokesman, Mark Mitchell.

Nationally, cases of serious harm were up 25 per cent, with an increase of 20 per cent in Auckland; 35 per cent in Waitakere; 32 per cent in Wellington; and 40 per cent in Christchurch.

The figures show that the number of serious harm cases before the courts in October 2017 was 17,189, that they steadily increased last year to 19,554 in December, and rose to 21,645 in April 2019.

The questions asked of Little was “What was the number of total active serious harm cases, broken down by district court, each month since October 2017?”

It is not immediately clear whether the increase is due to more crime or a bottleneck in the justice system, or both.

Neither the question nor the answer define “serious harm cases” but Bridges says they would include rape, sexual assault, murder, manslaughter and drug crimes.

Bridges said the statistics showed crime was increasing and cases weren’t moving through the courts as quickly.

The increase is serious harm cases before the courts was also occurring at a time when the prison population was decreasing.

“The Government has taken its eye off reducing crime and is focusing on just getting numbers in prison down,” said Bridges.

There can be all sorts of reasons for these figures.  There are more police on the beat now and this usually has an effect.  Crime rates tend to go up.  Also crime tends to be seasonal and I suspect the April dates are throwing things out.  And a shortage of Judges can slow down court proceedings and cause cases to back up.  Putting new Judges on the bench is not a quick process.  It takes quite a bit of time to list, vet, appoint and train.

The strange thing is that it appears that offence numbers are decreasing.  Using the Police’s handy statistic builder tool here are the overall crime figures since 2015:

Note an overall decrease of 5% for 2018 compared to 2017.  Note also that Bridges did not refer to the 2016 figures, one wonders why.  The 2019 figures are obviously for a part period only.

Here are the figures for assaults or more serious offences for the same period:

And here are the figures for violent and sexual offences but excluding assaults and breaches of protection orders:

They all show a decrease in the 2018 figures compared to the 2017 and 2016 figures.  Which suggests strongly that Bridges statistics based on a carefully crafted question are showing an anomaly and not a trend.

26 comments on “Bridges’ dodgy crime statistics”

  1. Anne 1

    More dodgy statistics from Simon Bridges:

    I had the impression Susie Ferguson was not impressed.

  2. michelle 2

    who cares what shit comes out of his mouth as long as he stays as gnats leader they are f…d


  3. Peter 3

    Tomorrow Mike Hosking will be all over this story. He cares about BS from politicians you see and tomorrow Bridges will be toast. Any bets on that?

    • Wensleydale 3.1


      He cares about BS from anyone who isn't the National Party… even if it's not really BS. If he didn't understand it, or the Opposition deliberately misrepresented it in the media, he's all over it. Otherwise, National can do no wrong and are the ONLY valid option for government.

      Because he's fair and balanced.

      • michelle 3.1.1

        fair and balanced mike hoskings, bullshert! hes a self opinionated know it all i know best man 

        • Wensleydale

          Yeah… there was a lot of sarcasm going on there. Perhaps I should label it.

          • Anne

            Always a good idea to add (sarc) at end of sentence. If you forget (as I sometimes do) there's always someone who gets their knickers a bit knotted.

            No offence to michelle. Sometimes it's just a case of skimming over a comment without any thought to the context. We've all done it.

            • woodart

              thats a copout. there are way too many on here who's default position is outrage, and go off half-cocked .if someone has to explain sarcasm to people who either (a) dont read ALL of a post, or (b) read something and dont understand what they are reading, perhaps the easily offended should attend remedial reading and understanding classes.too many on this site are easy picking for the trolls that only post to disrupt threads…………(SARCASM ALERT!!!!)

  4. Lucy 4

    Statistics do whatever you want, you can slice and dice for any outcome. The thing he was talking about was crimes before the courts, as there is a one to two year lag in police over before the courts in 2019 you have crimes committed 2017 – 2019.  The language on Morning Report was very carefully crafted.

  5. Dv 5

    so bridges is saying crims getting out now are committing the crimes 2 yrs ago. 

    Du du du

  6. Formerly Roas 6

    Clearly rapists and murderers had a keen eye on the outcome of the last election and were prepared to break the law only if Labour were elected. The criminals support Simon even if his own MPs don’t.

    • They were also sharp enough to break the law while National were still in power, so their cases would come in time for Bridges to include them in his propaganda this year.  Those damn criminals!

  7. They all show a decrease in the 2018 figures compared to the 2017 and 2016 figures.  Which suggests strongly that Bridges statistics based on a carefully crafted question are showing an anomaly and not a trend.

    Yep.  Carefully-crafted propaganda is probably the only area in which National consistently and clearly out-performs its competitors.  Makes sense, since that's the kind of skills tobacco company PR types have.

  8. And notably, the Herald article is not behind the paywall…

    • Wensleydale 8.1

      If your only goal is to misinform the peasantry, particularly those without the disposable income to afford your paywalled fountain of bullshit, then yes, mission accomplished Granny Herald. It's almost insultingly transparent.

    • woodart 8.2

      so, that would mean that the herald doesnt think hoskings whinges arent worth the price of admission, just a loss leader to bait the rubes……cheap white bread….

  9. Nick 9

    Everytime bridges appears in the media he just talks crap – subject irrelevant, lies untruths and mis-spokes welcome. Is this the natz strategy ? Really ?  Or is this just him charging around the motu following his wifes PR plans ?  Sad for NZ that this guy is the leader of a major political party and stands 'proudly' in such bullshit gumboots.

    • Wensleydale 9.1

      Great for the current government though. The longer Bridges is running National, the less chance they have of being reelected. Jacinda must have some formidable self-control to restrain herself from giving Bridges the 'double-spinny-thumbs-up' in the chamber.

  10. mary_a 10

    Si says … 

    “The Government has taken its eye off reducing crime and is focusing on just getting numbers in prison down,” said Bridges. (My bold)

    I'm not exactly the sharpest knife in the drawer. However I see reducing crime and getting numbers in prison down equating to the same aim.

    Or have I missed something in wise leader Si's statement? 

  11. Blazer 11

    Mr Bridges is saying that crime in NZ has increased since he became LOTO…an unusual correlation. 😉

  12. Nik 12

    Whenever I read statistics on reported issues, e.g. reported assaults et al, the word that catches my eye is 'reported'.  I don't have the statistical breakdowns to hand to test my theory, but could it be that there are not necessarily more or less crimes being committed, but that emboldened by promised system reforms more victims are taking the calculated risk of reporting them?

    • Chris 12.1

      You could be on to something there.

    • NZJester 12.2

      Remember too that under the last National Government there where cases found were Police were fudging the statistics of reported crimes filing a lot serious crimes as low priority minor crimes. It could just be that under Labour they are actually doing their job and investigating a lot of reports they previously just ignored while National was cutting their policing budget hard.

      National the party that says they are tough on crime while cutting Police budgets and letting Police numbers fall.

  13. JustMe 13

    When will Simon Bridges finally say something intelligent because to date everytime he opens his mouth pure stupidity in words spews from it.

    Where was Simon Bridges when the Roast Busters were boasting about raping young females?  Where was Simon Bridges when some really awful crimes happened during a National government????!!!  Oh right Simon you are trying to say crime was not so bad under National!!!!  Exactly what planet, other than toilet free planet Key,  are you on???!!!!!

    I would say crimes are being reported more so than during a National government because the track record of the previous government was to smirk and say "Boys will be boys"(as John Key said about the Roast Busters).

    Every time Wacko Bridges comes up with something in a feeble attempt at 'upmanship' I honestly feel so sorry for the electorate he is supposedly a representative of.  It must be so hard for them to have such a useless MP and especially one that everyone just laughs at because of his ridiculous comments.. 

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