Kyra is the Rotorua Daily Post's police, emergency and court reporter.

Burglaries, family violence remain problems

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SECURITY: Norm Dodunski from Sefton Security says it's important to lock your house. PHOTO/STEPHEN PARKER
SECURITY: Norm Dodunski from Sefton Security says it's important to lock your house. PHOTO/STEPHEN PARKER

Burglaries committed by young people and a concerning rate of family violence in Rotorua are connected problems, according to Rotorua's top police officer.

His comment comes as new Statistics New Zealand crime figures show of the six offence categories listed by the number of victims impacted, four decreased in Rotorua in the 12 months to September 2016. They were assault, sexual assault, unlawful entry with intent/burglary and robbery and extortion.

The number of abductions and kidnapping stayed the same and the only one to increase was theft by 4 per cent.

The total offence categories listed by offending rate increased by 15.6 per cent from 366 to 423 as compared to September last year.

For the 12-month period, September 30, 2015 to September 30, 2016, the total number of victimisations increased 17.2 per cent from 6822 to 7998.

Rotorua area commander Inspector Bruce Horne said the statistics showed an increase in the recording of some offences as a result of police focusing on areas where offending was often not reported - such as family violence.

Mr Horne said there were some positive results in the latest statistics.

"In particular they show that Rotorua police have reduced the spike in offending that occurred earlier in the year."

However, he said three years ago Rotorua police attended an average of seven family violence incidents a day, "now the average is 10".

"Burglary is also an area of concern and has been a particular problem in the CBD and inner city suburbs over the past year. A lot of this crime is committed by juveniles - and many of those juveniles come from homes where family violence is an issue; so the two problems are connected."

Rotorua police area prevention manager Inspector Stuart Nightingale said the focus on young people involved in criminal offending had been ongoing all year.

"Police have been working closely with Child Youth and Family and together we have been able to present a more collaborative approach towards our challenging youth offenders."

He said police had seen an effort by some parents and caregivers to provide better parenting and care for their children, however there were still significant gaps.

"Rotorua police have identified several core groups of young offenders who regularly roam about the Rotorua streets, breaking into vehicles and committing burglaries almost on a whim."

Earlier in the year Mr Nightingale said police were looking to charge parents for damage caused by their children.

"While it is understood that very few parents have been charged for willingly allowing their children to roam the streets late at night I remain keen to pursue this course of action," he said.

Sefton Electrical and Security security manager Norm Dodunski said he had noticed more people needing security.

"It does happen more during the summer. A lot of people who ring that have been burgled do say it is young people who have done the damage."

He said his firm always noticed a spike in burglaries over the school holidays.

Mr Dodunski said it was important for people to make sure their homes were secure.

"Install security, make sure you have locks and window locks. Tell your neighbours if you are going away."

He said it was important to lock your house even if you were just out the back gardening or having a barbecue as that was a prime time for burglars to hit.

Waiariki Women's Refuge chairwoman Rangianiwaniwa Pehikino said many Rotorua families had been impacted by family violence.

"For some families we may have seen three to four generations of families.

"I believe we have an issue in Rotorua, the statistical information alone can tell its own story."

- If your safety or the safety of your children at risk, call 111. Waiariki Women's Refuge also has a 24 hour crisis line on (07) 349 0852.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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