Counting Crime is a Herald series looking at where and when offending is happening in the community - and who the victims are. Each day we will look at a different category of crime and examine the numbers, meet the people affected the most and reveal the times, days and places you are more likely to fall victim. Today, we share your stories.

This week the Herald series Counting Crime has focussed on criminal offending in New Zealand, who is affected by it, when and where.

Police reporters Anna Leask and Sam Hurley and data editor Harkanwal Singh have teamed up to analyse police crime data and investigate what drives offenders and how victims are affected.

Our series is based on police data about victims of crime - the number of people who have reported offences against them from July 2014 until the end of 2016.

Singh has crunched police information to meshblock level - a small geographic area based on Census boundaries - and this can be viewed on Herald Insights.

Counting Crime: check out your neighbourhood at Herald Insights here.


Through the interactive map we can reveal when crimes are most likely to happen, and where.

We asked you to share your stories - and you did, in droves.

Here are some of the crimes that have affected Herald readers.

Ransacked while buying groceries

Ian McNeill has lived in Torbay for 50 years and it wasn't until November that he experienced any kind of crime in his neighbourhood.

When the theives did hit, they were quick - and thorough.

"My wife and I went shopping for groceries and we were away one-and-a-half hours," he said.

"When we arrived home the back door had been jemmied open and the burglars had got into our bedroom and absolutely ransacked all the drawers looking for jewellery and money.

"They took all my wife's jewelery and engagement ring and $2000 Australian dollars I had ready for a proposed trip there.

"They also went to our study and stole my binoculars and even took our marriage certificate from my suit."

McNeill said the theives must have been in the house when he and his wife returned home.

"We must have disturbed them when we were backing our car in for they left behind my camera at the top of the stairs.

"We have lived in Torbay 50 years and this is the first time we have suffered anything like this."

He had a special message for the burglars who hit his home.

"I have placed a curse on them and hope their bones burn brightly in the fires of hell."

Tool time - thieves clear our family supplies

A Maraetai family wasn't just targeted once by theives for expensive tools - they were struck twice in short succession.

Jenny Barrett told the Herald her neighbourhood was "generally good" but each day they seemed to be hearing of more incidents.

"Last year my son's ute was broken into and his tools all stolen," she said.

"He is an apprentice in carpentry and had only just paid off his tools, it was a bitter blow for him to have to replace them and borrow the money to do this."

The crime didn't stop there for the Barrett family.

"A couple of weeks ago my husband's van was broken into and he was totally cleaned out of all his tools, approx $8000 worth," Barrett said.

" They even took his radio, vacuum cleaner and sunglasses.

"Both these incidents happened right outside our house in the middle of the night.

The punks get away with it

The day before the Herald's Counting Crime series began Aaron Munyard woke up to a mess.


The Glen Eden resident's car had been broken into - for the second time.

"Two weeks prior to this my partners car was broken into on the same street," he said.

"The problem is when you report these things to the police there is nothing they can do about it.

"You really only contact them to get a report number for insurance.

"It's almost the perfect crime as nine times out of 10 these punks get away with it."

Munyard said car break ins, while seemingly minor compared to other crimes, were a huge burden for victims.

"I'm the one who spent my only day off picking broken glass out of my car and phoning around trying to find the replacement glass," he said.