Two Northlanders are assaulted every single day and the number of assaults is rising, new crime statistics show.
The Northern Advocate and the New Zealand Herald's crime series continues today with assaults, tracking crimes taking place between July 2014 and April 2017, led by Herald Insights.
The total number of victims of assault was 2272 throughout the North in the 34 month period analysed - more than two people a day. These were only assaults police were aware of; many would go unreported.
Last year had an almost 25 per cent jump in assaults in Whangarei District, from 356 in the 12 months to April 2016, to 443 in the 12 months to this April.
Whangarei Central had 252 victims of assault over the period, with the block of Vine, Cameron, Walton and Bank Sts in the central city the location of 53 assault victimisations - the most dangerous place in the North.
Surprisingly, the most common time of day for an assault to occur was the afternoon, and often on a weekday. For Whangarei, the three most common hours were 1pm, 3pm and 4pm, with 11pm and 2am not far behind.
For the Far North, 12pm, 3pm and 5pm. Kaipara numbers were similar.
With a large number of late night and early morning assaults, Saturday and Sunday were the most common days.
The majority of these were common assault. Region-wide however, there were 348 victims of serious assault resulting in injury - the majority in the Far North (169), ahead of Whangarei (153).
Kaikohe had 167 total assaults, more than any other area in the Far North. The block between Broadway and De Merle St, Clifford St and Routley Ave had 23 victims of assault - the highest number in Kaikohe.
Northland police announced earlier this year the region was set to get 66 more police officers over the next four years; 20 of these have been announced as arriving in the next 12 months.
Northland district commander superintendent Russell Le Prou said police have been focusing on crime prevention and identifying high-risk offenders, and these extra officers would bolster those efforts.
Sociologist and gang expert Jarrod Gilbert said an increase in police numbers should give officers time to be visible around hotspots and the city centre, which discourages crime.
"The reason we don't see police on the beat like we used to is because they simply don't have the resources to. I think visibility of officers is quite important," Dr Gilbert said.
"What we do know about deterrence theory, what we know works absolutely best, is certainty of getting caught. The higher degree, the less likely there is to be a crime.
"If you've got cops on the street, they can investigate even small matters which are ignored when resources are tight, and chances are you will decrease offending."
Neighbourhood Support Northland spokeswoman Shelley Willott-Henderson said these extra numbers were sorely needed to help police get on top of a range of criminal activity.
"They're just unable to touch petty crime at the moment.
"We're the criminal capital of New Zealand insofar as drugs are concerned, and they're absolutely tied up with that to try to reduce it," Ms Willott-Henderson said.
"The crime here is just so hard for the police to get out to, because they're short of numbers and because they travel such huge distances. They're fully aware of what's going on, they just don't have the manpower to get on top of it, as well as everything else they have to do.
"I think we should be more aware of what's going on in our neighbourhood. If you're concerned or you see something that's happening and you're able to intercept, do so, as long as it's not illegal or you're not putting yourself at risk."