Vehicle crime has the highest chance of involving police but victims of computer crime and sex attacks are unlikely to come forward due to shame and fear of reprisal, according to a just-released survey.
The latest Ministry of Justice New Zealand Crime and Victim Survey shows that although more people are reporting assaults only a quarter of all illegal activity is ever brought to police attention.
And while motor vehicle crime had an 89 per cent likelihood of being reported, cybercrime and sexual assault was the least-likely with up to 93 per cent of violations going unreported.
The survey found the most common reasons for not reporting interpersonal violence, sexual assault, and physical offence incidents were shame, embarrassment, further humiliation and threat of reprisals.
Meanwhile, the rates of reporting assault, robbery, harassment and threatening behaviour had increased to 30 per cent, up from 25 per cent two years ago.
The total amount of crime being reported has remained the same at 25 per cent since the survey began in 2018.
Police today welcomed the rise in reporting assault crime, saying it showed a growth in public confidence.
"There's essentially more trust than ever that we will solve these incidents in a timely and effective manner," said Assistant Commissioner Bruce O'Brien.
However, with 75 per cent of crime going unreported, the situation could only be changed if people came forward.
"We can only solve crimes that we know about," said O'Brien.
"If it's not reported to us then our chances of being able to make a difference are significantly reduced."
As well as new reporting channels such as the 105 non-emergency line, the multi-agency work through Integrated Safety Response and Whāngaia Ngā Pā Harakeke programmes had enabled agencies to report family harm violence that would not be recorded by traditional reporting channels.