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The Standard line: crime

Written By: - Date published: 9:27 am, October 20th, 2008 - 39 comments
Categories: crime, The Standard line - Tags:

So, you’re talking with someone about politics and they say something really dumb and wrong and you know it’s wrong but you don’t have the arguments and facts at your fingertips to make a decisive point. That’s where our election series, The Standard line, comes in. The info you need in bite-size form. Today, crime:

Points:
– Crime is down. When Labour came to power, there were 1200 offences reported per 10,000 people, each year. Now there are 1000.
– There were 8,000 fewer crimes in total reported last year than 1999 and 25,000 more were solved.
– The crime figures we hear about are only reported crimes. The evidence is that reporting of crime is up because of public awareness campaigns and because cell-phones making reporting crimes immediately easier. We know two types of crimes that always have nearly 100% reporting – homicides and burglaries (you can’t claim insurance if you don’t report a burgulary to the Police). Homicides are down 10% per capita, burglaries are down 18%. 
– reported violent crime is up but the experts say this is due to higher reporting of family violence. The number of violent street crimes actually fell 1% last year. Reported violent offences were up 30%. Think about it: is it credible that violence within families actually went up that much in one year for no reason even while homicides and street violence went down? No.
-Family violence has long been under-reported and in the last year there has been a strong campaign to get people to report family violence – that is the explanation for the increase in reporting.
-The entire increase in violent crimes and sexual crimes since Labour came to power comes from higher reporting of family violence. 
-while every violent crime is bad, it is worth noting that there is less than 1 violent crime per 100 people a year.

39 comments on “The Standard line: crime”

  1. KK 1

    “rpeorting crimes immdeiately” ??

    I still argue that Nanny Key with his bootcamps provide the answer.

  2. Anita 2

    The entire increase in violent crimes and sexual crimes since Labour came to power comes from higher reporting of family violence.

    Can you remind me where the evidence for that is? I struggle to believe it’s true for sexual crimes I’m sure I saw something which said the increase was due in part of increased reporting of date rape, again a reporting increase but not family violence.

  3. Ianmac 3

    Murder is a subset of Homicide. There are about 50-60 murders per year and have been for a very long time. (But ask your neighbour how many murders they think happen and they usually say 2-300! Media?)
    (Homicides include manslaughter, infanticide and I was sure suicide but can’t prove the latter. The rate in the1970’s was 120. The rate currently is around 80. But can’t find my sources.)

  4. MikeE 4

    “- Crime is down. When Labour came to power, there were 1200 offences reported per 10,000 people, each year. Now there are 1000.”

    Incorrect, reported crime is down. This could mean that crime is down, or it could mean that people simply aren’t reporting crime. Is this violent crime? property crime, or meaningless stuff like pot offenses?

    “- There were 8,000 fewer crimes in total reported last year than 1999 and 25,000 more were solved.”

    Again, is this less crime happening or being reported? Are they solving more violent crime? burglaries? or just locking up more people for smoking pot? When my car was broken into I was told not to bother reporting it. When I was assualted the cops did nothign about it untill it ended up on the blogs and pressure was put on MPs in Wellington.

    “- The crime figures we hear about are only reported crimes. The evidence is that reporting of crime is up because of public awareness campaigns and because cell-phones making rpeorting crimes immdeiately easier. We know two types of crimes that always have nearly 100% reporting – homicides and burglaries (you can’t claim insurance if you don’t report a burgulary to the Police). Homicides are down 10% per capita, burglaries are down 18%. ”

    People won’t bother reporting crimes if the excess is higher than what is stolen/damaged. We had stuff stolen from our place in Kingsland (100m from Clarks electorate office) and didn’t bother reporting it, as the excess on what was stolen (cell phone) was higher than the value. This is all to common – for businesses, a lot of shoplifting is never reported, this doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. Same goes with domestic violence.

    “- reported violent crime is up but the experts say this is due to higher reporting of family violence. The number of violent street crimes actually fell 1% last year. Reported violent offences were up 30%. Think about it: is it credible that violence within families actually went up that much in one year for no reason even while homicides and street violence went down? No.”

    So more people are reporting family violence, this is good, but are people reporting car thefts? Shoplifting? Vandalism etc?

    “-Family violence has long been under-reported and in the last year there has been a strong campaign to get people to report family violence – that is the explanation for the increase in reporting.”

    Again see above, there seems to be some hard core head in the sand behavior going on.

    You’re arguments seem to revolve around the idea that if the stats are good, its because of Labour’s policy and leadership, but it they are bad its not their faut (Annette King blaming it on the full moon, or Rogernomics!) – you can’t have it both ways. Myself, I just blame it on the individual criminals.

    What would I like to see:

    – Increased effort on solving violent and property crime
    – Goal of Justice and protecting individuals, not punishment, or revenge
    – Move away from policing victimless crimes, such as those caught with cannabis or BZP

    Unfortunately it seems like Labour are going the opposite way… The other parties are ofering alternatives that at least focus on the first and hopefully 2nd points, it would be nice if we had a major party take on the third point.

  5. While most of the points on this list are fairly true, you need citations, otherwise this just comes across as opinion – there are quite a few I’d like to see substantiated before I accept them. I know this takes ages, but if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing properly.

    Not all burglaries are reported. Small property crimes are often unreported because the excess and no-claims bonus outweigh anything that might be gained through an insurance claim.

  6. anita. the stats table builder, you can look at scene for location of the crime, ‘dwelling’ is an approximation for family violence, apparently the police have better figures but i’ve not seen them.

    ianmac, correct murder is a subset of homicides. strangely, the homicide category in the stats includes attempted murder – so my figures are murders and manslaughters combined.

  7. Anita 7

    SP,

    No no, anything but the stats table builder… back in half an hour 🙂

  8. randal 8

    the argument shoudl be how much crime is there in new zealand relative to our size and the incidence of crime on other countries of the same type. otherwise this is just an exercise in futility for numbskulls to flap their gums over every three years.

  9. Anita 9

    SP,

    Ok, I restrained myself and didn’t get distracted by other cool stats 🙂

    Sexual crimes committed in a dwelling could include:
    * sexual assault within the context of family violence
    * date rape in ones own house or the person one was dating
    * sexual assault by a burglar or other intruder

    So I don’t think that is evidence that it’s increased reporting of family violence that’s raising sexual violence stats. It also doesn’t sound right to me, much of the effort to increase reporting about sexual violence has been about acquaintance rape (date rape and similar).

  10. Ianmac 10

    MikeE said:”Incorrect, reported crime is down. This could mean that crime is down, or it could mean that people simply aren’t reporting crime. Is this violent crime? property crime, or meaningless stuff like pot offenses?”
    Mike. If crime is not being reported how do you know that crime is worse? Would your point be valid this year? Well it must have been valid for decades, so we must be working from the same base. That is; the figures available, in order to make judgements.
    randal: The nearest available to compare countries is the rate per 10,000. Unfortunately the data gathered in other countries varies. I think that in USA a multiple murder is classed as one event. In NZ the number of each victim is counted as separate stat. (Even in NZ the way the Stats were collated has changed in the last decade.)

  11. randal 11

    ianmac…so whats the guts. is crime more prevalent in new zealand than elsewhere or are we just “average” to mediocre?

  12. Ianmac 12

    Where does NZ sit? It does suggest that we are more violent over a long term than other comparable countries . (IMO the insistence on the right to hit kids is a reflection of that. Over 80 countries in Europe have banned hitting kids. The most recent in Germany where a flat ban was enacted. No reaction. In NZ???)
    Because the effectiveness of crime prevention and detection vary from country to country it becomes hard to compare apples with peaches. I am proud of our Police Force.

  13. Felix 13

    Sorry for the off topic but I just saw this and had a chuckle.

    Back on topic:

    Crime is bad but nothing anyone says about it in election season is ever worth listening to.

    I say get on with your life and enjoy it and stop being so scared of everything.

  14. higherstandard 14

    Felix

    “Crime is bad but nothing anyone says about it in election season is ever worth listening to.”

    Yup pretty much

  15. vto 15

    agreed too. violent crime on the tv news could be eased up on though – sheesh, it’s impossible to watch the news with the kids now because it is loaded with violence and yuck. 2c

  16. randal 16

    well why dont yu write a letter to yor MP and to the televison staion instead of bleating about it in here. I really dont care what you do in the privacy of your own home

  17. vto 17

    you get out of the wrong side of bed today wandal?

  18. randal 18

    whats it to you scumbag?

  19. sean 19

    Ha ha ha – you’ve devoted a complete article to apologies for why things are actually better than everyone thinks they are.

    Keep the stuttering apologies coming lads – I always wondered what a Policy Analyst is – now I know.

  20. higherstandard 20

    Put Randal into the “do not engage with” box – he’s either one of the saddest little abuse generators in the blogosphere or a sociology student completing a thesis on the responses to mindless comments a lefty blog.

    Either way I suggest you leave to his own devices.

  21. vto 21

    well randal you have been on the warpath today that is what

  22. randal 22

    why dont you trolls address the question. You will do anything rather than adress the question. and the question is why is Johny Keys in New Zealand after working for three organisations that have bordered on the criminal and have brought the international banking system to a standstill and yet you support him. Trying to attack me for telling the world what sort of people you are is just doging the issue. Address the question.

  23. vto 23

    randal that’s not the question on this thread you egg. and for the record i have not attacked you, merely defended myself AGAIN.

    anyway, if you are so concerned about near-criminal behaviour in govt, how about the question of the standards of governance taken on by Clark’s govt as exhibited by keeping a proven perjurer on baubles. poor. so very poor.

    re your question about Key’s role in the meltdown – financial products were not the reason for this meltdown, merely one of many components.

  24. Akldnut 24

    vto – It may not be the question on this thread but its one that I’d like to know, and also while we’re at it why does he keep flipping on so many things that he says? or why he can’t answer a straight question with a straight answer. Ok I know it’s the way politions work but he has taken it way past the reasonable to the extreme, to the stage when even his own party dont know what he’s up to at times.

  25. randal 25

    vto its idiots like you who continue to support geeks like keys and minimise his actions that makes the new zealand situation much more dangerous. wake up or do you specailise in abetting financial malfeasance?

  26. Akldnut 26

    Notice how English has been glaringly out of sight since the Pita Sharples (Maori Party) flip.

  27. vto 27

    randal I think you misunderstand the situation and lack an understanding of the human nature. Which also explains why you can turn a complete blind eye to Peters and his perjury.

    Re Key – I don’t have the detailed knowledge of whether any criminal wrongdoing was undertaken in his role at various ‘banks’. Best ask Key. If there was wrongdoing then the price should be paid. But merely workng in such an area is not an immediate guilty judgment – ex`cept on talkback radio. Perhaps try your luck there.

    Anyway, for what its worth there are some fair questions raised about Key as akldnut outlines. But they aint enough to turn me around to Clark – while the left has many policy areas I agree with I will not be supporting her because I do not like her style of governance (supreme court imposition, retrospective legislation, EFA imposition, Peters and OG matters, etc). And I do not believe her policies are sufficient to lift NZ. She is a socialist and her policies are limited to achieving those ends only.

  28. randal 28

    vto I understand completey what you are doing. you are filling up this space with barely literate maunderings to confuse people and to cause them to go elsewhere. in other words you are just a troll. You are just like keys who uses long strings of words that have no coherence and mean nothing.

  29. vto 29

    randal you are starting to sound hollow. that the best you got?

  30. The Realist 30

    hhm, while I accept that reported crime is down, I still don’t believe crime itself is. I also don’t know whether there is 100% reporting of homicides and burglaries either. While homicides are probably pretty likely to be accurate, there is a large amount of burglaries that don’t get report as the household doesn’t have insurance, or its too low to worry about, or in a lot of cases its not worth the effort.

    Also a lot of minor crime has dropped in part due to lower employment, better social conditions but also better security (alarms, locks etc) while violent crime has gone the other way. And its not due to domestic violence.

    These days you are just as likey to get a hiding at the same time as your wallet gets nicked. It also not just the media beating it up.

    I can think recently of a number of crimes that were of a major nature in West Auckland recently that recieved next to no coverage in the press.

  31. randal 31

    zip ah dee doo dah, zip a dee day, my oh my its just a wonderful day. except for the whining right whingers who fill up this blog with their logorhea…blettchhhh!!!

  32. vto 32

    randal
    in a mangle

  33. The Realist
    “hhm, while I accept that reported crime is down, I still don’t believe crime itself is.”

    That’s because fear of crime correlates with media reporting of crime, not actual levels. Crime is so infrequent and your unable to be every where at once. Your only gauge of the level of crime very occasionally when yourself or someone around you is a victim of crime this is very sporadic how ever. One burglary and an assult amongst your friends last year and 4 such offenses this year does not mean crime has doubled, but you’d sure as hell think its out of control.

    The other place you find out about crime is the news where “if it bleeds it leads”. Media reporting of crime is heavily asymmetric. Sure as hell you’ll hear about it if there’s 3 murders in a month, but no way is it news when theres no murders for 3 months.

  34. The Realist 34

    killingnthenameof,

    no back to my original point, in that the media don’t report a lot of crime. Crime isn’t infrequent, or maybe it is where you live.

    I deal with a lot of people of all types of areas and socio economic classes and they all tell me that crime is up….

    As a rule I ignore the meida’s take on crime. It swings from one pole to the other. The big issue I see is that the people must impacted by crime and those most likely to vote Labour so it makes no sense to try and convince them of what they seem isn’t completely true.

  35. “no back to my original point, in that the media don’t report a lot of crime. Crime isn’t infrequent, or maybe it is where you live”

    Reported crime is going down, media coverage of reported crime is going up.

    I’m talking serious crime here (There’s a hell of a lot of blasphemy these days, and a lot of people around me download music and I’ve been known to keep the odd movie recorded off t.v. for longer than a week). Thousands of cars pass me each day, quite a few (Like hundreds of them) more of them are smaller cars these days, I can legitimately conclude that there’s more small cars on the road. How ever if i was lucky enough to see 2 Porsche’s in a day, I wouldn’t conclude that Porsche ownership is up.

    Crime is infrequent enough that individual anecdotal reports cannot give an accurate picture of what crime is doing. Especially in the current media environment.

    “I deal with a lot of people of all types of areas and socio economic classes and they all tell me that crime is up .”

    Again, peoples fear of crime, perception of crime levels (which someone around here pointed out are way worse, some times by a multiple of 2 or 3 on crimes that have very very little under reporting) correlates to the level of media reporting of crime.

    There is some academic merit to an argument that reported crime levels are not a good measure for real crime levels, how ever the people making that argument would say individual anecdotal reports of crime are even less reliable for estimating the real level.

    The point I’m trying to make is that an assault involving blood, guts, Maoris, gangs, weapons and a whole lot of media attention creates a much higher increase in peoples perception of levels of crime than a drunken punch up on a Friday night. The are each 1 assault, how ever the first one would get headline of a national paper claiming crime is out of control. where as the second woudl be lucky to rate a mention in the any paper at all.

  36. Hoolian 36

    This is total nonsense.

    First, at the very mention of “the Standard line”, people will associate it with this blog and instantly anything else said will lose credibility. Why do people always laugh when I say “But I saw it on the Standard?” anyway?

    Secondly, this is crap.

    Pierson feels some continuous urge to protect perpetrators of violent crime by making outlandish comments on how it’s dropping.

    Case in point:
    “while every violent crime is bad, it is worth noting that there is less than 1 violent crime per 100 people a year.”

    Phew, after nine years of Labour “getting tough on crime”, only 1 little old lady is being violently assaulted/murdered per 100, per year. Well, thank goodness for that. I’m grateful that other parties aren’t so laissez-faire about violent actions against innocent members of society.

    “The evidence is that reporting of crime is up because of public awareness campaigns and because cell-phones making reporting crimes immediately easier.”

    Where is this evidence? It’s an assumption (a HUGE assumption) that doesn’t add up. Whenever any “non-Labour” party/organisation release statistics about the rise in crime, Pierson argues that its actually just a rise in reporting, and then rejects any question that his own manufactured ‘statistics’ could be anything other than an honest reflection of New Zealand.

    Following “the Standard line” there is no decrease in crime, just a decline in reporting. People are no longer reporting crime and “the evidence is that reporting of crime is DOWN”. Sounds unlikely? Diddums. I’m just following the “the Standard line”.

    [lprent: If you are able to read, then I’d suggest looking at the links to the statistics and the reports from the police that are in the reports. Most of the material quoted comes straight from the police report. Most of the other organisations you’re talking about cherry pick the crime stats for things that they can point up as being a problem. That makes headlines.

    Good news doesn’t, so they don’t read all of the figures or the commentary by the police. Now you are doing the same thing – I guess that says everything about your reading abilities doesn’t it..]

  37. Ianmac 37

    Hoolian: With all your bluster all you do is abuse the messenger. Can you prove beyond reasonable doubt that violent crime is up? All you are doing is lamenting that violence exists. Yes agreed. But is it getting worse? Statistics are really the only thing you can argue about. Conjecture, political spin, anecdotes, media over- reporting is not evidence.
    How many murders are committed in NZ each year? Guess?
    How much better/worse than 5 or 10 or 20 years ago?

  38. Hoolian 38

    If you are able to read, then I’d suggest looking at the links to the statistics and the reports from the police that are in the reports. Most of the material quoted comes straight from the police report.

    Unless my eyes are failing me, I can’t see any reference to any police report nor do I see any links. Am I going blind or are you just wrong? Hmm, I’m leaning towards the latter.

    Most of the other organisations you’re talking about cherry pick the crime stats for things that they can point up as being a problem.

    Absolutely right. The Standard is a godsend and all other organisations (as numerous and politically diverse as they may be) are all wrong, wrong, wrong. It couldn’t be that the Standard has been caught cherry picking crime stats for things they can point up in pursuit of their own ideology.

    With all your bluster all you do is abuse the messenger. Can you prove beyond reasonable doubt that violent crime is up?

    Statistics are hard fact, but they can be bent and swung to support political ideology (as I suspect is happening right here). Besides, since when was reasonable doubt a perquisite on this site? More often than not, we revert to gossip and hearsay as hard fact. Reason is to be left at the door.

    Conjecture, political spin, anecdotes, media over- reporting is not evidence.

    Agreed. That was my point.

  39. Ben R 39

    “Crime is bad but nothing anyone says about it in election season is ever worth listening to.

    I say get on with your life and enjoy it and stop being so scared of everything.”

    Perhaps not, but you could say this about a lot of issues during the election that don’t directly affect you. Not so easy if you’re an Indian shopkeeper in South Auckland.

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