Anna Leask is senior police reporter for the New Zealand Herald.

New Zealand police crime data to go public on new 'user friendly' website

Police crime data will be easily accessible to the public from the end of the month with the launch of online tool.

The policedata.co.nz will be launched on November 30 and will give the public an insight into crime in New Zealand - who is committing it and who is victimised.

Police deputy chief executive for strategy Mark Evans said until now, the agency has not had an effective tool that allowed for the reporting of crime data in an easily accessible format.

"But as of 30 November, we are launching a new, interactive tool that will provide the public with access to a range of easily accessible information about victims, offenders and crime trends," he said.

"This will make it easier for people to access, analyse and understand data that police hold about crime."

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"Until now, the data has been available through the Statistics New Zealand website, but will now be migrated across to the police website, where it will be available from the end of the month.

"This new tool is an exciting step as it provides victimisation, offender and crime trend data in an easily accessible format, which will be useful for researchers, government agencies, media and other interested groups and individuals."

In November 2014 police changed the way they collated stats, moving from crime to victims and offenders.

The move was in line with the police prevention-first strategy, which focused on and prioritised victims.

Changing the way they recorded their statistics aimed to "count the victims behind the crimes".

Statistics New Zealand has been working with police since early last year to help develop the new reporting tool and ensure a smooth transition.

Spokeswoman Natalie Keyes said the data on the police website would be the same as that previously available via Statistics NZ, but with some additional features, which will provide more information about where and when crimes are happening.

This data will help inform decision-makers and other stakeholders.

"Statistics NZ will also continue to work with police, as it does with all government agencies who publish official statistics, to provide oversight and advice regarding the statistics they produce," said Keyes.

Evans said policedata.nz would provide information series of standardised, user-friendly interactive reports.

It would also show a basic level - known to police as Tier 1 - Recorded Crime Victims Statistics (RCVS) and Recorded Crime Offenders Statistics (RCOS).

"Tier 1 statistics represent the subset of official statistics that have been identified as New Zealand's most important statistics, essential to help the government, business and members of the public to make informed decisions and monitor the state and progress of New Zealand," Evans said.

Police consulted with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner before finalising its reports.

"Police remains committed to ensuring the transparency, accuracy, reliability and authenticity of all of its data, and takes that responsibility very seriously," Evans explained.

"That is why police statistical information continues to be routinely independently audited and overseen as appropriate."

- NZ Herald

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