Police say the Government's policies to reduce violent crime have had little effect, as such offending is still on the rise and last year's murder rate was the highest in 10 years.

"Legislation changes during 2009 have generally had negligible impact on total recorded crime statistics," say police papers obtained by One News.

National statistics show an increase in violent crime last year compared with 2008, including:

Recorded crime up by 4.6 per cent.

Violent offences, including assaults, homicide, intimidation and robbery, up by 9.2 per cent, compared with a 5.2 per cent rise from 2007 to 2008.

Murder up by 25 per cent to 65 cases, the highest in 10 years.

Drug and anti-social offences, including alcohol or drug offences, disorder and family offences, up by 14.3 per cent, compared with a rise of 4.2 per cent from 2007 to 2008.

Alcohol offences up by 20.1 per cent, compared with an increase of 7.3 per cent from 2007 to 2008.

Drug offences (cannabis, non-cannabis drugs and new drugs) all rose at least 19.9 per cent.

Sexual offences rose 0.6 per cent.

A recorded offence is defined as one in which an offender is identified by police and dealt with by, for example, being warned, arrested or prosecuted.

Recorded offences rose 1.2 per cent per head of population in Waitemata, 1.6 per cent in Auckland and 6.9 per cent in Counties Manukau.

Police Minister Judith Collins said violent crime had been on an upward curve for some time and a rise in recorded crime should be no surprise.

But Labour's law and order spokesman, Clayton Cosgrove, said the numbers were a "damning indictment" on the Government.

"When you have a murder rate and violent crime skyrocketing, it puts a lie to Judith Collins' foot-stomping. The Government has talked tough and pretended to act tough, but the results do not match that.

"[National Party leader] John Key and Judith Collins went to the country promising New Zealanders that they would make the streets safer. They have conned New Zealanders.

"Despite all the gloating, the people in Counties Manukau will not lie any easier in their beds tonight."

Ms Collins said she could not comment on the figures until they were officially released today, but suggested a spike in recorded family violence would normally result from more reporting of such crime.

Similarly, more police resources in Counties Manukau would lead to an increase in recorded crime.

"Counties Manukau is a ray of hope because what we have seen is extra police come on board and a new way of policing, and what was going to be a very bad year has been turned into a better year than it would have been."

Ms Collins said the ongoing spread of the drug P, despite Government attempts to rein it in, and a rise in violent youth offending had contributed to higher violent crime.

"It takes a while for the effects to come through. There is a lag time. I don't think there should be any great shock and surprise."