A new report has shown the Whanganui/Manawatū region had a significant decrease in the number of households experiencing crime over the last 12 months.
Released by the Ministry of Justice yesterday, the New Zealand Crime and Victims survey painted a picture of the shape of crime across the country between October 2019 and November 2020, breaking down data by region and type of offence.
The survey has been conducted every year since 2018 in an effort to get a clearer picture of crime in New Zealand. More than 23,000 New Zealanders have been interviewed for the project since it began, with 7425 people contributing to the most recent report.
The key takeaways of the survey were that nearly a third of all adults were a victim of crime over the previous 12 months, but only a quarter of all crimes were reported to police.
Adults in Auckland and Hawke's Bay were the most concerned about their safety, while Gisborne had the highest percentage of household crime anywhere in the country, sitting at 24 per cent.
In the Whanganui/Manawatū region, this year's report recorded a significant decrease in the number of households that experienced a household offence compared with the first report in 2018.
The proportion of households experiencing crime fell from 22 per cent to just 13 per cent, and the rate of household offences themselves halved - from 39 per 100 households in 2018 to 19 per 100 households in 2020.
The rate of burglary specifically also more than halved, with 21 burglaries per 100 households recorded in the 2018 survey to just 10 per 100 households in the most recent survey.
But despite the drop, the data also showed that people within the Whanganui/Manawatū region were still feeling somewhat uneasy, with a higher proportion of people saying they felt unsafe compared with neighbouring regions such as Taranaki and Wellington.
In the Manawatū-Whanganui region, 26 per cent of people surveyed put the figure of how safe they felt between 0 and 7 - with 0 being completely unsafe and 10 being completely safe.
That 26 per cent figure was significantly higher than Wellington on 18 per cent and Taranaki on just 13 per cent.
Those in Manawatū/Whanganui were equal with Canterbury with the second-highest amount of people feeling unsafe, behind Hawke's Bay.
Chris de Wattignar, Assistant Police Commissioner: Iwi and Communities, said the findings were consistent with the police's own experiences.
"Our main message to anyone who has been the victim of a crime is: please tell us about it - your experience matters.
"While you may think something is not significant enough to let police know about, your information may help us to identify trends and prevent it happening to others."
Police Area Commander for Whanganui-Ruapehu Inspector Nigel Allan has been contacted for comment on the local figures.