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Reported crime drops

Thursday 15 December 2022 | Written by Al Williams | Published in Crime, Local, National

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Reported crime drops
Cook Islands police. Photo: FACEBOOK

While cops are anticipating a busy end of year season with crashes, domestic violence, theft and burglary adding pressure to frontline police, latest figures show reported crime is projected to be lower than pre Covid-19 years.

Police figures show reported break-ins on Rarotonga (currently 73) are expected to round off this year well below the 158 recorded in 2018.

Thefts (currently 117) will also be well down - under the 167 in 2018, and the unlawful taking of motorbikes (currently 31) will finish 2022 short of the 112 reported stolen in 2018.

Police spokesman Trevor Pitt said for at least the past five years, reported crime here has been on the decline, and in terms of burglaries and theft, much longer. 

“This is due to a couple of factors. Improved security measures by property owners, such as locking up, security lighting, and CCTV. 

“People are more aware about the safety of their valuables, especially since we all carry costly devices these days. Many have phones worth over $1000. 

“Same with motorcycles, owners are thinking more about security steps.”

Pitt said criminal activity related to stolen property was anticipated to level off at lower levels compared to previous years despite an isolated uptick in incidents reported to police in 2022.

“But having said that, complacency is a problem. 

“There are going to be break-ins and thefts so the deterrence needs to be maintained as well as the reporting of suspicious behaviour. 

“The tendency to gripe on Facebook and not inform the Police does not help broaden Police capabilities to manage risks and improve prevention.”

Pitt said over at least the past six years he had been working with Police, there had been a tight grip on known offenders which had brought the number of incidents down significantly. 

“The risks to valuables and property, however, remain, as crime incidents show.

“There is an ongoing vigilance required around security and a need not to be complacent.

“Visitors too, often drop their guard while on holiday and the consequences can be costly.

“As a reminder, Police ask for as much information and co-operation from the public as possible about the sighting of suspicious behaviour, especially around homes and holiday accommodation, as well as the beaches.”

Pitt said to take note of individuals who may be lurking and be aware of blind spots where such people may be watching and waiting for an opportunity.

“Dialing up the effort to be more safety-conscious will make for a more enjoyable festive season for the community.”