Napier MP and Labour police spokesman Stuart Nash believes the lack of community policing is causing crime to increase rapidly in Hawke's Bay.

Mr Nash said according to the latest crime statistics from Statistics New Zealand, burglaries have almost doubled this year.

"There were 228 recorded in September 2015 to 411 in September 2016, which is an 80 per cent increase."

Mr Nash also said theft and related offences had increased from 408 to 609 this year, which was a 50 per cent increase.


Hawke's Bay area commander, inspector Tania Kura, said police acknowledged that there had been an increase in victimisation numbers related to burglary, theft and other related offences in Hawke's Bay.

"Hawke's Bay staff are working hard to turn this trend around, and are committed to reducing crime and victimisation to ensure that New Zealanders are safe and feel safe in their communities," Ms Kura said.

Ms Kura said there were a number of factors that might lead to an increase in these types of crime, which could include changes to an individual's personal situation.

"Losing a job, a sudden reduction in household income, an addiction to drugs or gambling, or a change to the socio-economic status of an area could increase the rate of crime."

She said some increases could also relate to offenders who simply took any opportunity when it was presented to them, such as a property being left open or unlocked.

Mr Nash said police were stretched across the Bay and were therefore not able to meet expectations.

"As a consequence, young hoons are beginning to lose respect for police as they know burglaries are not solved.

"There is a change in the nature of crime, and it's not just in Hawke's Bay but is very prevalent."

He said the rise in the use of the drug P was huge and many were resorting to crime to fund their addictions.

"We need more police out in the community working with other agencies like WINZ so they can prevent the crime before it becomes a real problem."

Ms Kura said their staff were continuing to work closely with each community to understand their needs, and were trying to put in place measures and initiatives to reduce and prevent crime.

"We recognise the invasive, personal nature of burglary and theft for its victims and know that, especially for burglaries, a small numbers of recidivist offenders can commit a large amount of the crime."

She said more than 50 per cent of burglaries occurred at insecure properties so wanted to remind people to take responsibility for securing their properties.

"People need to check they have good locks on doors and windows, talk to their neighbours, and perhaps think about investing in an alarm if that's an option.

"Property owners should also label their property and photograph jewellery and items of value to assist in identifying property located."