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Special report: Tauranga's worst suburbs for burglaries revealed

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One of the Bay's beachside suburbs has recorded the region's highest number of burglaries - more than four times the average per suburb.

A total of 154 burglaries were reported to police in Omanu from July 1, 2014 to December 31, 2015.

Neighbouring suburb Arataki recorded 122 burglaries while Te Maunga recorded 103.

Figures released to the Bay of Plenty Times show while Mount Maunganui suburbs collectively tallied a total of 452 burglaries, wider Papamoa recorded 254.


This data, released by New Zealand Police for the first time, gives a breakdown to "meshblock" level, the smallest geographic unit by which government agencies aggregate data.

Omanu resident Heather Yearbury said she believed the area registered so high with burglaries because homes were easily targeted.

It did not mean it was a bad neighbourhood, she said.

"It's because most houses have two entrances and exits. People go around the golf course and they can go through the driveway on the way out, or there are the beachfront properties where people can enter from the beach and exit via the driveway," she said.

Mrs Yearbury, who had been burgled, said the area attracted a lot of visitors including young people on school holidays.

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Western Bay of Plenty police area commander Inspector Clifford Paxton said there had been more burglaries in Mount Maunganui.

He believed this was due to an influx of people to the region and opportunist thieves taking advantage of items are left unsecure on properties, such as a bike in a car port.

Mr Paxton said police had also changed the way they recorded thefts, which were sometimes now coded as burglaries.

"Burglary often has an impact on victims' feelings of safety and vulnerability within our communities.

"Burglary victims can often have a heightened sense of awareness and anxiety arising from a sense of their home or personal space being intruded upon," Mr Paxton said.

"Burglary is a serious crime and is treated as such by police. Burglary carries significant penalties reflective of the impact it has on victims."

Mount Maunganui Neighbourhood Support could not be reached but Arataki Community Centre manager Matthew Strange said he and others in the community were surprised at how many burglaries there had been in the area.

"No matter what area you live in, you need to look after your neighbours and lock up as you leave the house but I don't think that's necessarily just for Arataki."

Papamoa Neighbourhood Support's Lorraine Stevens said her area had a stronghold of members and the organisation's presence helped deter would-be thieves.

"We are probably one of the strongest suburbs in the country," she said.

Ms Stevens said the organisation worked closely with police and over summer held weekly meetings instructing residents how best to keep their home safe and secure.

Watchdog Security managing director Brett Wilson said there appeared to be an increase in juvenile crime across the whole Bay of Plenty, including a spate of thefts from cars.

Mr Wilson said it mainly had increased demand from commercial businesses in the past 18 months "and really, the demand for residential alarms is coming from new subdivisions rather than existing".

The areas which recorded no burglaries were Matakana Island, Tauranga Harbour inlet at Omokoroa, Tauranga Harbour inlet North, Waikareao Estuary, and Motuopae Island.

Of 143 people surveyed
75 per cent say New Zealand is becoming less safe
35 per cent have been burgled at some stage
63 per cent say they don't have a home-security system installed
28 per cent say they lock their doors and windows when they are home

- Bay of Plenty Times

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