In scenes reminiscent of the film Minority Report, Dunedin police are door-knocking previous offenders as a way to curb burglaries.

Police have taken the unique step to combat the seasonal spike in the crime down south.

Otago coastal acting area commander Inspector Kelvin Lloyd said the new method was introduced because police wanted to stop offenders rather than catch them.

In 2002's Minority Report, starring Tom Cruise, the police department in the film employ a 'Precrime' unit to arrest offenders before they commit crimes.

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"We are cold-calling people we know that are at risk of offending to see whether there are issues in their lives that were in their lives when they were involved in offending."

If those issues persisted, police could assist in getting them help, he said.

"The big thing for us at the moment is offenders offending to get methamphetamine. We can't do anything about that, but we can put them in contact with organisations."

Police started the method shortly before Christmas and it was well received by the handful of prior offenders it was used on, he said.

"Whether they lead to the desired outcome is yet to be seen."

Dunedin had seasonal spikes in burglaries in January, which occurred disproportionately in South Dunedin, he said.

He could not provide a figure.

Insp Lloyd urged prevention methods for people in wider-South Dunedin.

Police started the method shortly before Christmas and it was well received by the handful of prior offenders it was used on, police said. Photo / File
Police started the method shortly before Christmas and it was well received by the handful of prior offenders it was used on, police said. Photo / File

These included knowing their neighbours and reporting if they saw anything suspicious, such as people scoping out houses.

For parents, if children came home with suspicious items they should inquire as to where they came from.

Burglary could be "traumatic" as it made people lose their sense of security, Insp Lloyd said.

Even in South Dunedin, burglary was low compared to some areas of the country, he said.

"We don't want people to think there is any sort of siege going on."

The problem areas were St Clair around Bedford St, Victoria Rd, Surrey St and up through to Easther Cres; a cluster of residential areas on Hillside Rd, up to King Edward St along Bay View Rd and Kirkcaldy and Bradshaw St; and Caversham on the flat between Hillside Rd and South Rd.