Isaac Davison

Isaac Davison is a NZ Herald political reporter.

Burglary fear up despite fall in cases

Asked to respond to the poll, Police Minister Anne Tolley said crime rates continued to fall, "but for those who have been burgled it is a horrible experience". Photo / Thinkstock
Asked to respond to the poll, Police Minister Anne Tolley said crime rates continued to fall, "but for those who have been burgled it is a horrible experience". Photo / Thinkstock

More than a third of New Zealanders feel they are more likely to have their home burgled compared to five years ago, a Herald-DigiPoll survey shows.

Despite a fall in the burglary rate over this period, just 25 per cent of people believed they were less likely to become burglary victims.

The largest proportion of respondents to the DigiPoll survey, 34.1 per cent, felt there had been no change in their risk of being burgled compared to 2009, soon after National came into power.

The results were similar around the country and age groups, despite official figures showing people in Northland and Waikato were twice as likely to be burgled than people in Southland or Wellington.

Asked to respond to the poll, Police Minister Anne Tolley said crime rates continued to fall, "but for those who have been burgled it is a horrible experience".

"I note that 60 per cent of respondents believe the chances of being burgled are less or the same."

The overall burglary rate has fallen by 18 per cent nationwide since 2009. The rate of dwelling burglaries has been more difficult to reduce, but has fallen by 11 per cent over that time.

The Labour Party's justice spokesman, Andrew Little, said the figures did not reflect the level of public concern about burglaries. He believed this was partly because burglary was under-reported.

Police began prioritising burglary prevention under National by focusing on repeat offenders and hotspots.

Mrs Tolley said the rollout of smartphones and tablets for cops had helped with prevention, because officers had more time on the beat and did not have to return to the station to access or share information.

Act is the only party to target burglary in its election promises. It wants mandatory three-year sentences for those receiving a third burglary conviction. Mrs Tolley said the plan "could have merit" and if National formed a coalition with Act, "we could discuss that".

- NZ Herald

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