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Crime stats show drop in burglary and crashes

Thursday 11 November 2021 | Written by Al Williams | Published in Crime, National

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Crime stats show drop  in burglary and crashes

Reported crime on Rarotonga is trending downwards but residents are being warned not to become complacent.

Police have reported incidents across several categories of unlawful activity which show a downward trend.  

The main areas include burglaries, theft, stolen motorbikes and road crashes.

Serious crimes were not included and are subject to investigative intelligence, police said.

Police spokesman Trevor Pitt said reported theft had steadily declined over a period of at least a decade from an annual high of 356 in 2010 to 126 reported incidents in 2020.

This year’s total is recorded at 114 up to the end of October.

Police Commissioner James Keenan said concerns remain ongoing, particularly the need for the community to stay vigilant about security and safety.

“Social conditions are likely to be impacted by the anticipated changes to international travel,” Keenan said.

“That will affect the road environment as well as raise risks around the tourist facilities.”

The downward trends were due to different factors, and did not necessarily reflect the impacts of Covid-19, Pitt added.

Burglaries are also trending lower from an annual high of 319 in 2013 down to a low of 90 in 2020. 

This year’s reported burglaries look set to fall below last year, Pitt said.

“The decline over the years has been primarily due to swift police action and monitoring of known offenders,” he said. 

“Better community awareness about property safety and improvements in security technology are also playing a role.”

While reported incidents of break-ins were already in decline before the onset of the pandemic, in early 2020, the border closures had influenced the scope of risk targets.

“Tourist facilities for instance became less of a target while incidents around residential homes have increased,” Pitt said.

Meanwhile, the number of reported stolen motorcycles is also on a downward trend with this year’s figures looking to fall below 2020. 

More than 100 bikes were reported to the police as stolen in 2019, 60 in 2020, while bikes reported stolen in 2021 currently stands at 44.

The number of road crashes is in decline and on target to fall below last year’s annual total of 153, according to incidents reported to police.

There was a high of 279 in 2018 – the highest over the past eight years.

“Police are now advising drivers to lift their performance on the road, especially since the volume of traffic is likely to increase over the coming months,” Pitt said.

“The festive season in December and border opening in January will mean busier roads. 

“Driver attitudes must improve to match the changing environment.”