There is less reported crime in Northland but the chances of having a crime resolved is also dropping.

The latest police statistics for 2014 show 14,897 crimes were reported in Northland, of which 6458 were resolved - meaning an offender was apprehended and warned or prosecuted. That equated to 42.3 per cent of crimes being solved, compared to 48 per cent the previous year.

The good news was criminal offences in Northland dropped by 4.4 per cent - which meant there were 691 fewer victims compared to 2013. Nationally, crime dropped by 2.8 per cent while the resolution rate was 41.5 per cent.

The report card was a good balance of results, according to Northland District Commander Superintendent Russell Le Prou.


Figures released by Statistics NZ last week also showed assaults had dropped by 15 per cent and illicit drug offending declined by 26 per cent.

However, there were 2962 burglaries - or eight every day across Northland - of which only 412 were resolved, or 14 per cent. And of 1764 vehicles stolen during the year, only 250 of those crimes were resolved - also 14 per cent. Sexual assaults in the region had risen to 193 from 171, which also reflected a national trend - a rise of 3.5 per cent.

Mr Le Prou credited the drop in crime to the urgency staff had taken in locating offenders - which stopped further offending - and also the work that had gone into preventing crime in the district.

Mr Le Prou said in part the rise in the number of burglaries could be attributed to changes in how burglaries were reported to the Crime Reporting Line (CRL) and what was now deemed to be a burglary. That too applied to the reporting of car theft.

"Burglaries and unlawful takings are top of the list. Our focus is on the volume crimes because that's where there are the most victims and we want fewer victims."

Concerning the rise in sexual assaults that matched the national trend, Mr Le Prou said that following a number of high-profile sexual assault cases in Northland recently, the public trusted the police to take action and get proper resolution through the justice system.

Another positive was that public order offences had dropped a whopping 22.5 per cent, which was attributed to greater police mobility thanks to technology, including iPhones and iPads, that enabled them to be more visible on the streets and act as a deterrent.

Much of the decrease in crime can be attributed to assaults (down by 15.5 per cent), illicit drug offences (down by 26 per cent), property damage offences (down by 14.9 per cent), fraud, deception and related offences (down by 35.1 per cent), robbery, extortion and related offences (down by 13 per cent), and public order offences (down by 31.4 per cent).