A_131019HBTPTWISE1.JPG Napier mayor Kirsten Wise says the increase in crime in the city is 'very disappointing'. Photo / NZME
Napier can expect to see more police in targeted areas as steps are taken to tackle increasing rates of burglary and theft.
The increases, and a shift in some trends in the Hawke's Bay twin-cities of Napier and Hastings, are revealed in reported crime statistics for 12-month periods to the end of September.
While reported crime in Napier at 5243 offences was up about 7.24 per cent in provisional figures, there was a decrease of about 1.5 per cent in the Hastings District, where 9256 were recorded.
The figures focus on the "victimisation" areas of assault, sexual assaults, abduction, robbery, burglary and theft.
Most significantly the 3035 incidents in Napier categorised as theft (which included unlawful taking of motor vehicles) represented an increase of over 28 per cent, while 5962 across the larger population of the Hastings District was a decrease of about 2.46 per cent on the previous 12 months.
Those classified as burglary (including almost any offence of entering on to others property to commit a crime) totalled 1589 in Napier, up about 3.45 per cent, while the 1988 in Hastings represented a slight decrease (0.35 per cent).
Reports of assault were up in both areas, by 6.88 per cent in Napier and 4 per cent in Hastings, but there was a swing in the incidence of robbery, dropping almost 40 per cent in Napier from 69 to 42, while increasing about 30 per cent in Hastings, from 73 to 95.
Napier Mayor Kirsten Wise said it is "very disappointing" to see the statistics and she has discussed this situation with local police.
She said she understands a number of "positive initiatives" have been launched in recent months.
"We will continue to work with the police and other key agencies to understand what is driving these behaviours and identify the underlying issues so we can plan the next steps to move forward together," she said
Police Hawke's Bay Area prevention manager Inspector Martin James says, while not having analysed the statistics, the figures appeared to be about what police would have expected for the periods involved.
There had been targeted police activity to combat crime in both cities, which included a high profile in Hastings areas where shoplifting had been more prevalent and in recent months in Napier after a spike in car break-ins and the unlawful taking of motor vehicles.
He said the vehicle incidents earlier this year had been reported at up to "11 in one night" but by identifying offenders the average had been brought down to "no more than one or 2 a night."
He said many of the incidents, and others categorised as burglary, happened where vehicles or homes and sheds were not locked or were otherwise insecure, including such things as bikes and other items left outside.
He said police plan to be more visible in areas where crimes were being committed, including shopping areas in the lead-up to Christmas.
In Hastings district council Flaxmere Ward member Henare O'Keefe was buoyed by a declining crime rate in his area, saying it could be linked to the proactive steps being taken in his community.
"You've got to have community buy-in," he said, highlighting the recent night market and the development of central facility Flaxmere Park, which was earlier this year named New Zealand's Active Park of the Year.