An interesting measure of the times:
PM reassures Chinese community over crime
An open letter from Prime Minister John Key has been published in Chinese media in New Zealand, reassuring people who are concerned about crime levels.
Mr Key said he wrote a weekly column for about 30 Korean, Indian and Chinese media outlets, and this week Chinese media asked for that column to be presented as a open letter.
Burglaries are indeed to receive more attention, as of yesterday:
Police to attend all household burglaries
From today, police will attend every single household burglary. Police Minister Judith Collins has announced the new directive that will target an increase in burglaries in the last year. “This shows police are serious about tackling burglary and also sends a clear message to offenders,” she said. The move will see burglaries become a “priority offence”. …
Whatever happened to not interfering in operational matters? This is a huge commitment. As of May: Burglary exclusive: 164 burglaries a day unsolved.
And it is being demanded of a police force that has been systematically underfunded for years:
Budget 2016: Virtually Another Frozen Police Budget
Budget 2014: Police budget frozen
Police ‘despair’ at freeze
Police under resourced, survey says
Gangs exploiting under-resourced police
‘The Govt is in damage control because they’ve been closing suburban police stations’
Government denies police underfunding to blame for spike in road toll
West Coast towns ‘paying price for police underfunding’
Crime up as police numbers fall: Nash
And so on…
Even if the police were properly funded, you can’t redirect that much resource without something else suffering:
Organised crime, drug policing ‘will suffer’
In a major policy change, police will now aim to attend nearly all of New Zealand’s 35,000 home burglaries a year.
Burglaries increased by about 11 percent in the year to February and police are solving fewer than one in 10 cases. Minister of Police Judith Collins said she hoped the new focus on burglaries would help turn this around. “I would expect that there will be an increase in resolution rates, we’ve certainly seen that where police have been targetting burglaries around the country, particularly in Auckland, that there was an immediate up-pick in the resolution rate. “And that sends a very strong message to burglars that they will be found,” she said.
However, Police Association president Greg O’Connor said this approach had been tried before and there simply were not enough officers to cope.
“It’s a good idea, however the reason we stopped doing it is that we didn’t have enough people to do it, and now there’s no more people and yet we’re going to have to do it again, so something else is going to suffer. And it will probably be organised crime policing and drug policing – which is the cause of most of the burglaries anyway.” …
In other reaction:
Police attending break-ins won’t help catch burglars – criminologist
UT senior criminology lecturer John Buttle said the main reason burglars were caught was because there were witnesses, but burglaries rarely have witnesses and criminals plan not to be seen.
“So the fact that police officers are going to turn up and talk to the people who haven’t seen the burglar, really isn’t going to make a difference to my mind.”
While he said no change to the resolution rate was likely, it was hard to say what would have an impact.
“There’s probably nothing they can do. And I mean if you turn around and look internationally, it’s not just New Zealand police who are useless at catching burglars, it’s pretty much every police force. They all suffer from the same statistic. No matter what they try to do they all suffer from that same statistic; really, really low resolution rates for burglary.”
Mr Buttle said the move was more about public perception. …
Ahh yes, public perception. Now you’re talking National’s language.
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