Rarotonga’s annual burglary trend 2013-2023. POLICE MEDIA 24012830
Despite the extent of publicity generated by incidents of burglary and theft on Rarotonga, these crimes have actually been trending lower than previous years, according to Police statistics.
Greater public awareness in fact, may well be a significant
factor in the reduction of such unlawful activity around the community,
according to Police.
“Over the course of several years, the growth in social media
and increased transparency by the Police have played a part in the community
gaining a stronger sense of security around property and valuables,” Police
said in a written statement.
“For example, incidents of burglary have decreased over
time, down from a level of more than 300 ten-years ago. In contrast, in 2023,
there were 76 reported burglaries, down from the 82 in 2022.”
Better awareness was a deterrence and had translated into
improved security measures and technology, and more vigilance around keeping
high value goods safe.
“Personal electronic devices and cash are primary targets
for thieves while alcohol, cigarettes, electronics, cash and jewellery are high
on the list of stolen items in burglaries.”
Police said investigations are most successful if assisted
by witness tips and accounts, CCTV footage and forensic evidence, which often
leads to known offenders and their associates.
“The successful prosecution of just a few suspects can
reduce crime rates dramatically. That’s because many of these incidents follow
a cyclic pattern of occurring by repeat offenders, who often rely on the
vehicles of others to be mobile around the island.
“It therefore pays for neighbourhoods to be wary of strange
people driving in and around properties, purporting to be looking for work or
selling produce. Take note of unusual activity in your area.
“Every piece of information reported to the Police can make
a difference in investigating crimes.”