Northland has the highest rate of unsolved burglaries in the country and the slowest response time to break-ins, with 10 burglary victims a day in the region.

But one of the region's top police officers says although burglaries are difficult crimes to solve, police want to ensure there are fewer of them in the region.

Police figures show from January 1 to June 30 there was an average of 10 burglary victims per day in Northland with 1876 in the Northland region, while the long-term resolution rate for that period was 6.9 per cent: The lowest in the country and below the national average of 8.9 per cent.

Tairawhiti region had the highest solved burglary rate in the country at 15.4 per cent.


Burglary victimisations include the number of people who were a victim of a burglary, which could be 10 people in one home.

In response to the statistics Inspector Al Symonds said Northland's low resolution rate was not because police did not take the crimes seriously, it was because they were hard to solve.

"At times burglaries are a hard crime to solve. We have to have be able to prove it beyond reasonable doubt in court. Let's say if we pull Johnny over and he has three televisions in his car, we might know they are stolen but if we don't know where they come from we can't prove beyond reasonable doubt," he said.

Mr Symonds said a priority for police was ensure victims were 100 per cent happy with police service and there were fewer burglaries in the region.

"I'd rather have people 100 per cent happy than poor service. Making sure people have good personal security, saying to people they might want to change locks. While, of course, we want the resolution to drop, we want to make sure there are less burglaries," he said.

The statistics also showed Northland had the slowest median burglary emergency response time with police taking 8.2 minutes to respond to burglaries where the offender is still present when the call comes in. The average nationally was 6.7 minutes.

Mr Symonds said this could be an issue with distance.

"We call those jobs priority 1 jobs. Often when offenders are still there. We will get there as quick as we can but if you live in Pouto it is going to take longer to get there than if you live in metropolitan areas," he said.

In August Mr Symonds assured people living in the region that if their home is burgled they could expect a Northland police officer to turn up and investigate. It came after an announcement by Police Minister Judith Collins that home burglaries would be treated as priority offences and police would try to attend all calls from now on.

Mr Symonds said since then there have been about 317 burglaries in Northland and police had attended all but 16, some of those were not attended because of people going overseas.

"We take this personally, this is our business. We know how invasive burglaries are and we are committed to getting there," he said.

Northland burglaries:

* 1105 burglary victims in Whangarei/Kaipara and 771 in the Far North.

* Whangarei/Kaipara has a slightly better chance of having a burglary solved (7 per cent) than the Far North (6.8 per cent).

* In Kohukohu (11 burglary victims), Waipu (27) and Ruawai (21) no burglaries were solved during that six-month period.

* Nationally there were 36,133 victims of burglaries and a long-term resolution rate of 8.9 per cent.