Four Rotorua suburbs are in the 100 worst for burglaries in the country, new data shows.

Two of the suburbs have had more than 200 burglaries each in the 18 months to December 31, 2015.

Figures released to the Rotorua Daily Post show the four most burgled Rotorua suburbs were Mangakakahi with 212, Western Heights with 208, Kuirau with 161 and Owhata West with 156.

Figures also revealed Kawerau was the fourth worst in the country with 312 burglaries and Turangi was the seventh worst with 302. This data, released by New Zealand Police for the first time, gives a breakdown to "meshblock" level, the smallest geographic unit by which government agencies aggregate data.


Inspector Bruce Horne, area commander for Rotorua, said over the last decade the burglary rate in Rotorua had dropped significantly.

"In 2005 over 2000 burglaries were reported in Rotorua, in 2015 there were 1629 - a 20 per cent reduction."

While there had been a rise in reported burglaries over recent months, he said it was seasonal with December and January always high risk. He said the ideal number of
burglaries in Rotorua would be zero.

"Police are very aware that the crime that most New Zealanders are most worried about being a victim of is having their home burgled. House burglary is an invasive crime and most people are very distressed by it; the harmful impact goes well beyond the value of the items stolen."

Read more:
Working together to reduce crime

Mr Horne said preventing and investigating burglary was a priority for Rotorua police and they had a great deal of success tracking down and apprehending burglars, reflected by Rotorua police having one of the highest clearance rates for burglary in the country.

Related articles:

7 Mar, 2016 9:11am
3 minutes to read
10 Mar, 2016 6:09am
3 minutes to read
21 Mar, 2016 10:00am
Quick Read

He said their focus was on prevention and there was a lot people could do , such as locking doors and windows.

"A significant proportion of the homes that are burgled were insecure."

Forming or joining a Neighbourhood Support Group is another great way of preventing burglary.

"We now have years of statistical data that confirms that the risk of being burgled are significantly reduced when you are the member of a Neighbourhood Support Group."

He said people should always report suspicious activity via 111 immediately.

He said some of their best catches were the result of a neighbour calling the police about something that just didn't look right.

Victim Support co-ordinator Sheryl Martin , said burglaries could be very traumatic for victims, and a lot of the group's referrals were from people who had been woken up by a burglar. She said the biggest effect was on children, when they had gifts or special things taken they no longer felt safe.

"After a traumatic event like this happens sleep and eating patterns can become interrupted... people don't feel safe, our recommendation is to go and talk to your doctor or someone you trust. It's normal for this to happen for the first few nights but if it continues victims should seek help."

Watchdog Security managing director Brett Wilson said there appeared to be an increase in juvenile crime across the whole Bay of Plenty.

"It's been particularly noticeable in Rotorua," he said. "There's been a noticeable increase in commercial burglaries in Rotorua in recent weeks."

Mr Wilson said he was also aware of a spate of thefts from cars lately. "So it's that same old message of making sure you don't have any valuables visible inside your car, etc."

Kawerau mayor Malcolm Campbell had not seen the statistics but he said if they were true he was not happy about them and thought something needed to be done. Mr Campbell said he'd be looking into the matter further.

A new interactive map from the Herald Insights team shows the number of burglaries at street level in New Zealand. Readers can explore the interactive map to see how their neighbourhood compares to the rest of the country. Readers can explore these criminal patterns by clicking here