A special report (Rotorua Daily Post, September 15) is headed 'Crime rate drops by almost 16%'. This looks good on paper when targeting Key Performance Indicators yet, in my opinion, is an outright lie.

When talking about sexual assault statistics, Rotorua police area commander Inspector Anaru Pewhairangi admits "Police are aware these crimes can be unreported".

Sexual assault is one of the least reported crimes.

Yet the legend of recorded incidents indicates a great performance based on the small fraction of actual recorded sexual assaults.

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Meanwhile Victim Support Rotorua is reported as seeing an increase in referrals during the same time period.

Consider how many innocent women have been raped and have been too scared to report it.

Consider why they cannot bear to face a trial where their attackers' defence lawyer destroys their dignity putting them through the pain of shameful accusations of somehow being responsible for what happened to them.

This is only one aspect of an article saying 'New figures reveal the state of crime in Rotorua'.

Do they include the pre-charge warnings that, in my opinion, police wrongly give to criminals and that help their KPIs? Why are our prisons bursting at the seams?

New Zealand has one of the highest rates of domestic violence rates in the developed world.

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We should be honest and read the truth between the lines instead of being taken in by the spin and statistics that are picked out to paint what in my opinion is a false picture and create a false hope.

Rendall Jack
Rotorua

Claim the Government is closing Arawa Park misleading, says Sturt

For local MP Todd McClay to be quoted that the government shouldn't close Rotorua racecourse (Local News, September 12) is either a slip of the tongue, misquote or an attempt to give out wrong information.

The Messara reports 17 recommendations are now out for public and industry submission, debate and many have already expressed their views on the industry.

To suggest that the government is closing Arawa Park is misleading.

It will be the industry who decides what's best for it during the submissions process and Rotorua's future will be determined by clubs, industry and the sector groups from within it.

My message is consistent: Get a copy of the report from the Ministry of Internal Affairs as racecourse closures are a small part of the changes recommended.

Having a lifelong involvement in horse breeding, racing horses being a member of clubs in the past I have watched the efforts of Gary Chittick try to change the industry about 10 years ago.

Parochialism took over and now, as Messara says, the industry cannot sustain itself if nothing changes.

People need to remember punters, the "mum-and-dad, one-each-way" betters, need access to trackside or a TAB, that directly funds racing plus clubs who exist on leases, selling assets and the tab payout etc.

Offshore betting doesn't fund NZ racing and NZ racing doesn't feature to betters in Australia. NZ supports Australian racing but not vice versa.

The issues are complex but to say this Government is closing Arawa Park is misleading. (Abridged)

Charles Sturt
Rotorua