Kirsty Wynn

Kirsty Wynn is a senior reporter at the Herald on Sunday.

Victims logging on to solve own crimes

An attempted burglary at a property at Mangere. Photo / Supplied
An attempted burglary at a property at Mangere. Photo / Supplied

Fed-up victims of burglary are turning to the internet to shame and identify crooks. Even a police officer has turned to the online option to make inquiries, after his own business was burgled.

Unlawful entry, burglary and breaking and entering are the least likely crimes to be resolved. Last year only 8 per cent of burglaries in Auckland were solved.

Violent crimes against people are understandably given priority and 63 per cent of sexual assaults and 100 per cent of homicides are resolved.

But frustrated victims of lower-priority property crimes have begun posting footage of break-ins on social media sites in the hope of identifying offenders.

Garth McVicar from the Sensible Sentencing Trust commended victims for posting evidence of crime on websites, but added that all information obtained should be passed on to police.

"This type of thing is fantastic [though] it's sad they feel they have to do this," he said.

But McVicar cautioned that people could not take it on themselves to dish out justice.

"We know people get so frustrated that these crimes are not investigated they will take action themselves and that is not a good thing.

"It's great if people can provide information to police because they are so stretched."

Despite the resolution rate, the Ministry of Justice website states that residential burglary was one of the most common crimes investigated by police.

This month, two Auckland burglaries were posted on social media sites in the hope of identifying offenders.

One Mangere Bridge homeowner - who wanted to be known only as Jon - was alerted to people outside his house by CCTV cameras.

He set off panic alarms but, even with the alarm sirens wailing, the group broke in and ran through the house smashing windows while he was upstairs.

Jon said he had been burgled several times in the past and a fire had been lit on his property.

He hoped someone recognised the offenders, one of whom had a distinctive half-dyed hairstyle.

"Once they smashed in, I went downstairs and they were coming through, smashing windows," Jon said.

"They smashed about five windows after they broke in for no reason apart from to create a distraction - maybe so perhaps they weren't confronted."

- Herald on Sunday

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