When thieves broke into James Gordon's car during lockdown they took everything he had - right down to his dirty socks.

The boatbuilder was moving house and all of his belongings were in his red Nissan Lucino when it was broken into.

He was staying with a mate on a yacht at Omaha on April 30 and when Gordon woke the next morning his car was still there but his hiking, diving, fishing and skydiving gear, boat-building and carpentry tools, hard drives of photos and memories on them, GoPro equipment, kitchen and bedding items and clothing were all gone.

"They even took my dirty work socks that were in the driver's seat - they took everything and just left the car," he said.


"Everything I was living with I [had] packed into the car. I was literally left with a pair of jeans, shirt and jacket I was wearing at the time."

Thieves broke into James Gordon's car and stole all everything he had inside it on April 30. Photo / Supplied
Thieves broke into James Gordon's car and stole all everything he had inside it on April 30. Photo / Supplied

Police were notified but Gordon says they have no leads and he fears it's unlikely he'll ever see any of his belongings again.

The 28-year-old was one of nearly 30,000 people who called police for help during April.

Those numbers were down slightly - crime dropped 15.5 per cent compared with March when there were 34,000 callouts.

A big part of that reduction came from a drop in car crashes, burglaries and assaults as fewer people were out and about.

The number of thefts dropped by 72.1 per cent and burglaries by just over a third, which was reflected in insurance claims.

AA Insurance said the number of claims related to theft, burglary and car crashes dropped as the lockdown progressed.

Head of claims Simon Hobbs said car crash claims dropped to 20 per cent of normal April levels, and crime-related claims for theft and burglary dropped to 40 per cent.


"It's likely that the decrease in crime-related claims is related to fewer people leaving their homes or going to public places like swimming pools and gyms, thereby providing fewer opportunities for thieves," he said.

But, as Gordon knows all too well - he couldn't even replace basics like clothing after the theft as the country was still in lockdown - not everyone was well behaved during April.

Motorists who did head out of the roads broke the rules in higher numbers than they did in March.

Data analysed by the Weekend Herald shows speeding related jobs increased by nearly 160 per cent during April, especially in Auckland, Marlborough and Christchurch. More people were also caught driving without a licence, while forbidden to drive or on a suspended/disqualified licence.

The biggest increase in calls was to people drinking in prohibited places - more than 500 people were caught, an increase of 286 per cent on March.

That was followed closely by those who stayed home but were too rowdy - police were called to 1867 noise control jobs, an increase of 155 per cent. General breaches of the peace and harassment were down.


A police spokeswoman said noise complaints normally went to councils but people had been phoning police during lockdown to report breaches of gatherings and those reports included concerns about noise.

There were slightly more mental health jobs but fewer attempted/threats of suicides and sudden deaths - despite initial fears lockdown would trigger an increase in suicides.

Mental Health Foundation chief executive Shaun Robinson said it was no surprise that more people reached out to police for help with mental health issues during lockdown as it was a stressful time.

He believed suicide attempts fell because people had support around them.

"There were a lot of protective factors were in play, a lot of encouragement to be kind and a sense of solidarity. A lot of people were in their bubbles with friends and whānau so they were around people that could support them.

"Those are some of the things that help to protect people from going through with planned suicide."


Family violence and child harm numbers looked good on paper - but experts say the reality was most likely quite different.

According to police statistics the number of child protection reports halved, breaches of a violence order were down by nearly a third, domestic violence callouts dropped by a fifth and family harm investigations reduced by 4.3 per cent.

Women's Refuge chief executive Dr Ang Jury said a drop in family violence related calls was unlikely to be a result of better behaviour. Photo / Supplied
Women's Refuge chief executive Dr Ang Jury said a drop in family violence related calls was unlikely to be a result of better behaviour. Photo / Supplied

However, Women's Refuge chief executive Dr Ang Jury said it was highly unlikely those numbers reflected a drop in family violence.

"I certainly don't believe there was, unless everyone that was using violence was watching Jacinda Ardern when she told them to be kind and decided 'yes that's exactly what I'll do'."

"I think the crime stats actually just demonstrate that there was a great deal of trouble for people to actually seek help. If you are in the same house as somebody it's hard to reach out for help."

Despite fewer people calling police, Jury said the number of women using residential services - like safe homes - increased during lockdown by 10-20 per cent.


Police say the vast majority of New Zealanders followed alert levels 3 and 4, which resulted in a decrease in crime during April.

"The reduction in some crime types was likely due to a number of factors such as the highly visible police presence in communities across the country, lower traffic volumes and the fact suspicious behaviour stood out more with fewer people around," said a spokeswoman.

She said it was suspected that other crime types, such as family harm, were under-reported during alert Levels 3 and 4 and police are now seeing a return to normal volumes as restrictions have eased.

She said the decrease in the number of child protection reports of concern was similar to what happened during school holidays.

"Children generally need safe places to report matters of concern. In levels 3 and 4 that was more difficult to do. Since the change from alert level 3 to 2 there has been an increase in reporting but at this stage, the number of reports has not increased to pre-alert level 4 numbers."