Crime hits mostly at the poor and brown

By Derek Cheng

Photo / APN
Photo / APN

More than half of all the crime in New Zealand falls on just 6 per cent - just over one in 20 - of the adult population, a survey shows.

And if you're a young, poor, brown city-dweller, you're much more likely to be a victim of crime that an old, rich, white person living in the country.

The New Zealand Crime and Safety Survey, released by the Ministry of Justice yesterday, is considered a more accurate picture of crime than police statistics because it takes into account the crimes that are unreported.

Indeed, the survey shows less than a third (32 per cent) of all crimes are actually recorded by police.

The survey talked to more than 6000 people aged over 14 in 2009 about crime in 2008, asking if they had been a victim of personal offences (assault, sexual offences, robberies, threats) or household offences (burglary, theft/damage to vehicles or property).

Major findings include:

* 6 per cent of people experienced 54 per cent of all crime.

* 64 per cent of adults experienced no crime at all.

* Assault (27 per cent) was the most common crime, followed by threats (21 per cent).

76 per cent of vehicles thefts were reported to police, but only 7 per cent of sexual offences were reported.

The overall level of crime was stable since the last survey in 2006 about crime in 2005, which found there were 2.8 million crime events compared with 2.6 million in 2008.

There were substantial reductions in partner violence (down 36 per cent from 2005 to 2008) and vehicle crime (down 25 per cent).

Overall, New Zealand compares favourably with other countries in terms of the levels of crime and the feeling of safety in the community.

- NZ Herald

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