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Serious crime rates

  • January 27th, 2008

Stuff reports the 10th homicide investigation for the month. Already that is nearly 50% higher than our normal monthly average.  If it continues we’ll be higher than every other country we’d care to compare ourselves with, though still below the US.  

After the ninth homicide The Herald listed them and obtained comment from a criminologist. She pointed out that the Christmas period often sees more stress. This month’s rate is almost certainly anomalous. 

The government will point out the abnormality when Parliament reconvenes. They’ll blabber about the fall in overall reported crime. The government won’t mention, however, that this reported fall is inconsistent with the results of the most recent government victimisation survey (internationally victimisation surveys are accepted as being more reliable than Police reported crime stats) and almost entirely a result in a drop in reported theft – in turn a result of victim discouragement. 

But even if the reported drop was real there is still reason for grave fear.  First, changes in homicide rates are recognised internationally as the most trustworthy measures of success in crime fighting. Homicide is almost always reported in every country.  Two other features of the New Zealand crime figures should panic the authorities.  If you’ve been able to bear reading the reports your impressions might point to the disturbing differences between our figures and the figures from countries more successful in fighting crime.  I’ll post on them tomorrow. See if you’ve noticed them already. A clue – it is not the predominance of women among the victims. 

Saturday’s Herald reported: Police say violent aggravated robberies occur so frequently in Auckland that they are not surprised someone has been killed….It would not be unusual to have one or two of these robberies of dairies or similar liquor stores or service stations each day…..Mr Gutry said South Auckland was not the only place where the violence was occurring – Auckland City reports aggravated robberies (defined as theft accompanied by violence) most days and the North Shore about every fortnight.”

A scan of the Herald’s assault and homicide tag entries this month discloses the following:

1 Jan – Bashed Palmerston North woman fighting for life (19yr old), stranger gunpoint sexual violation of New Plymouth woman (18 yrs)

2 Jan – Man bashed in face with hammer by 3 youths who steal car

4 Jan -Rotorua teen stabbed in “cowardly, senseless” gang attack, Banks Peninsula policeman bashed on home doorstep

5 Jan – Tahani Mahomed (baby) death from abuse

7 Jan – Man shot in head near Taupiri School, investigation of NZ woman’s complaint of rape on New Year cruise liner 

8 Jan – Second assault and robbery in Taradale streets in a month

< 9 Jan – Sophie Elliott (19 yrs) murdered in Dunedin10 Jan – Police investigating death of woman (33 yrs) in Porirua Mongrel Mob HQ

13 Jan – Christchurch man sitting in car attacked (knife and punches) and robbed by three men

14 Jan – North Shore bashing/robberies of two couples, three Manukau people injured by frenzied home invader

16 Jan – Armed Ngongotaha home invasion

16 Jan – Police investigating Hutt Valley High bullying including anal penetration after school fails to report

17 Jan – Ghastly murder of Karen Aim in Taupo

18 Jan – Tauranga woman stabbed in her home

22 Jan – Clevedon river finding of weighted woman’s body

22 Jan – Suspicious death investigation starts after Papamoa woman’s body found in house

23 Jan – Tokoroa chainsaw attack

23 Jan – Napier murder investigation starts after Chattrice Maihi-Carroll found assaulted then stabbed in home

25 Jan – Taupo 14 yr old charged for hitting 17 yr old girl 12 times on head with jagged rock 

25 Jan – Southland murder accused also charged with violation of Kaitangata girl (15 yrs)

26  Jan – 14 yr old charged with murder after Tokoroa man (22yrs) found beaten on street

27 Jan – Manurewa youth (15 yrs) stabbed to death.


  • Lindsay
  • January 27th, 2008
  • 9:32 pm

The age of the alleged perpetrators jumps out at me time and time again.

Oh, and the police keep saying that it isn’t their problem. It is societies problem. We all have to own it. I have never wanted to claim possession of something less.


Assuming an average of 80 homicides a year, there is a 13.7% probability that any given month will have 10 or more, and an 83% probability that any year will have at least one month with 10 or more.

Unless the high rate continues, it’s likely a mild coincidence.

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