Burglaries and crashes have been labelled as areas of major concern on Rarotonga as law enforcement continues to battle climbing crime rates.
On Monday police again raised concerns after it was
revealed late last week that increasing cases of crashes, domestic violence,
theft and burglary are adding pressure to frontline police officers who are
already anticipating a busy end of year season ahead.
Latest figures show police have already attended to
more than 150 motor vehicle crashes in 2022 – equal to the annual totals for
2020 and 2021 – both years recording 150 crashes.
The total number of crashes reported to Police in 2019
was 235 – more than 15 per cent lower than 2018, and 7 per cent lower than
The two years of Covid-19 brought this annual total
down to just over 150.
“For 2022, Police have already attended to this
number, with another three months to go,” police spokesman Trevor Pitt said.
“Two areas of unlawful activity within the Rarotonga
crime environment, burglaries and motor vehicle crashes, are trending back
toward pre-Covid levels although these patterns won’t be conclusive until at
least a full year of ‘normalcy’ is completed,” Pitt said.
“The number of reported burglaries and motor vehicle
crashes were both coming down in 2019, well before the pandemic struck; therefore,
despite the present trends, Police data around these areas of concern may
continue to reflect comparatively low numbers of incidents.”
In 2019, the annual total of burglaries was 108 – a
drop of more than 30 per cent compared to 2018, and more than 10 per cent lower
The pandemic years reflected further drops by up to 36
per cent in 2021, Pitt said.
“However, this year looks like equalling the number of
incidents reported last year thanks to a broadening of the scope of targets for
Reported burglaries totalled 69 in 2021.
“We’re not quite there yet in 2022,” Pitt said.
“There are broader targets now as a result of tourism
“Visitors are again falling victim to break-ins and
Last month there were 234 reported incidents compared
to 170 in August and 153 in July.
The main concerns last month were crashes, over 30 per
cent of the incidents, domestic violence, nearly 10 per cent, and theft 8 per
cent, and burglary 8 per cent.
In September, the traffic team was responsible for
issuing more than 75 per cent of the total number of minor offence
The majority of those fines were for non-compliant
vehicles and various defects.