3 Mar 2023

Revealed - the total number of ram raids last year

11:31 am on 3 March 2023
Ram raid damage at the Rotomā petrol station

Ram raid damage at the Rotomā petrol station in Bay of Plenty last year. Photo: Supplied

The number of ram raids carried out has quadrupled in the space of just two years - and the majority of those caught were under the age of 18.

In two years there has been a 465 percent increase in ram raids, and of those caught by police 70 percent were aged under 18.

Data released to RNZ under the Official Information Act showed that in the 2022 calendar year, police recorded 516 ram raids.

There were 708 offenders identified; 495 were under 17 years old, 70 were under 13, and 88 were adults.

Last year, the government announced a $6 million crime prevention programme, which included funds to install bollards or other protection structures.

So far, $2,265,965 had been spent from the programme.

Asked about the number of prosecutions compared to the number of offences, police said "it would require substantial collation and research".

Hundreds of people were charged with ram raid offences last year, about 80 percent were under the age of 18.

Police released provisional figures in October 2022, showing more than 2000 charges were laid in Auckland and Waikato.

Some were arrested more than once during the period from 1 February to the end of September 2022.

The new information came as police across the country attempted to curb youth offending after a number of highly publicised smash-and-grab and ram raid-style robberies.

Ram raids have been costing businesses thousands in stolen items and damage.

Retail crime cost New Zealand retailers $1 billion each year, and last year's rise in ram raids was likely to see the total climb even higher.

Money and the cash registers were most likely to be the focus of ram raids, followed by tobacco products, cigarettes and alcohol.

Offenders were generally looking for goods that were easy to sell through social media.

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