4 Mar 2005

New Caledonia's reported crime rate rises

3:54 pm on 4 March 2005

The French high commission in New Caledonia says crime last year increased by almost 18 percent over 2003.

It says a total of more than 13,000 crimes were reported, with increases in the capital, Noumea, of more than 25 percent.

Minors accounted for more than a quarter of the people charged, which is a higher rate of youth crime than in France.

The figures also show that theft of motorbikes went up by 50 percent.

The high commission says just under half of the police cases were solved.