Annual crime statistics show the number of methamphetamine offences recorded in the Western Bay of Plenty in 2010 is up 22 per cent on 2009.
Family violence also increased 0.4 per cent in 2010 and theft from cars rose 9.7 per cent.
Overall crime in the region dropped 0.8 per cent, with a total of 15,233 reported crimes.
Western Bay of Plenty acting area commander Inspector Karl Wright-St Clair says that while this is only a small decrease, the result is still a positive turnaround from the 2009 calendar year, when the region experienced a 6.7 per cent increase in crime.
“Some of the 2010 statistics reflect some of our key focus areas, such as methamphetamine,” says Karl.
“As many in the community will be aware, we have had a series of large organised crime operations focused on the Western Bay of Plenty and these apprehensions are reflected in the statistics.”
The Western Bay of Plenty experienced a 6.2 per cent decrease in stolen cars, a 4.9 per cent drop in burglary and a 2.7 per cent decrease in cannabis offences.
“The impact of drugs is harmful – not only for the individual user, but also for the wider community – and the use, manufacture and distribution of drugs often translates into other areas of crime, including burglary, violence and intimidation. As a result, this will continue to be a focus for us.”
Karl says while the small decrease in crime is a positive result, there is still much work to be done.
“There was an increase in the number of thefts from cars in the Western Bay of Plenty in the 2010 calendar year, and this is already a key priority for us in 2011.
“We’re also asking for the community’s help with this – please make sure you lock your vehicle and take valuables with you. And most importantly, if you see something suspicious, please dial 111 immediately – the sooner we hear from you, the better chance we have of apprehending those responsible.”
Total crime across the Bay of Plenty Police District decreased by 1.2 per cent, with a total of 38,701 reported crimes in the 2010 calendar year – compared with 39,188 in 2009.
Western Bay of Plenty Police, Rotorua Police and Taupo Police all saw a decrease in crime in 2010, with Eastern Bay of Plenty Police having an increase of 2.9 per cent – or an increase of 150 reported crimes.
Bay of Plenty district commander Superintendent Glenn Dunbier says the overall decrease in the amount of reported crime is a pleasing result, and reflects a focus on key areas such as family violence and child protection.
“Our over-arching goal is to reduce the number of victims of crime and crash in the Bay of Plenty,” says Glenn.
“New Zealand’s children are our most vulnerable victims, so this area is an absolute priority for us.
“At the same time, we must continue to keep our foot on the pedal in relation to some of our traditional areas of activity such as burglary and vehicle crime, as well as a continued emphasis on reducing the impacts of alcohol-related offending.”