1 Oct 2012

Post-quake crime in Canterbury continues to drop

6:15 pm on 1 October 2012

Crime in Canterbury has dropped by 11.7% - continuing a downward trend that began after the earthquakes.

Police figures for the year to June show there were 5000 fewer offences than in the same period last year.

The regional commander, Superintendent Gary Knowles, says the figures speak volumes for the work his team have been doing.

He says an extra 55 staff supplied to the district since the earthquakes have allowed particular problem areas to be targetted.

But the Christchurch Women's Refuge says the figures don't reflect the true impact of family violence which it says has brought a 9% increase in clients.

The refuge says only 20% of all family violence crime is being reported to police.

Loss of bar precinct a factor

Mr Knowles says key achievements include a 21.4% reduction in robbery and extortion and a 12.9% drop in car theft

He says the loss of a central-city bar precinct has also impacted on the low-level street crime traditionally seen on a Friday or Saturday night.

Police say another factor in the drop is probably the reluctance of people to bother them about relatively minor crimes in the aftermath of the earthquakes.

Nationally, the crime rate has dropped by more than 5% to its lowest level since electronic records were first kept in 1995.