Statistics do not tell the personal story of crime.
The shocking results of how safe people in Hawke's Bay are simply a reflection of what people are seeing, reading, and experiencing.
Stuart Nash might not like it when Hawke's Bay Today reports about a man being beaten in central Hastings in the middle of the day, nor the gunfire at a Napier bar, but newspapers have a duty to report such matters to their community.
Similarly, Anna Lorck might opine that she feels safe, but she is not an elderly person living alone nor a dairy owner fending off a machete-wielding attacker with a garden hoe.
Along with their statements on the proposed SH5 speed reductions, labour shortages and housing, our local MPs seem to live in a bubble far removed from how their constituents feel.
There are a number of reasons that people have a feeling of unease about their safety.
Although it is reported that household offences were down, other statistics paint a different story.
It has been reported that Hawke's Bay's gang population has doubled in five years, with a total of 14 separate gangs in the region.
Certainly, Hawke's Bay Today has had cause to report on many recent events that support an increase in gang activity.
Police data also shows that in the year from April 30, 2020 to April 30, 2021, there were 1402 acts intended to cause injury - that is just under four per day.
All of this feeds into a general unease about where we are heading as a community and the Government's unwillingness to be hard on criminality.
Many crimes go unreported as well. At a Waimarama community meeting last year a young lady recounted how her life had been threatened as she was simply walking her dog along the beach but, if memory serves, this complaint never was never recorded.
Many of the residents simply wanted assurances they would be safe from the rising level of aggressive behaviour by emboldened youths.
Like Hastings and Napier, Waimarama now has cameras installed to try to curb rising crime.
Cameras, as intrusive as they might be, are now a necessity to help identify crime and offenders.
But we as a community will have to work together to make our region safer. We will all need to stand up and reclaim our right to not be intimidated and afraid.
If we report all crime, big or small, it may force further police resources to be allocated to us.
Remind your MPs that, although they feel safe, you do not – after all, to the squeaky wheel goes the oil.
David Elliott is the chairman of the National Party Tukituki electorate.