Friday, May 02, 2014

Crime: 1978 versus 2013

Earlier in the week I took issue with Judith Collins' remark about crime now being at 1978 rates.

In 1978 according to the NZ Yearbook there were 282,656  offences reported to the Police. Statistics NZ Infoshare however shows a considerably lower number of 245,640. Apparently 1978 for the first year of Wanganui computer-generated statistics which had an "inflationary effect". In 2013 there were 360,411 offences. But what about the nature of the crime?

I've used the categorisation from the 1978 Yearbook to make a comparisons between then and now (p7).

Under violence I have included homicide and related offences; acts intended to cause injury; dangerous or negligent acts endangering persons; abduction, harassment and other related offences against a person. No surprise that violence is much higher. Property damage in 2013 also includes environmental/pollution abuses. As mentioned earlier, traffic offences do not form part of the 2013 total.

Another point that hasn't been raised in regard to falling crime - the ageing population. Most crime is committed by young men. That group is shrinking proportionately. So current demographic trends would lead to an expectation of falling crime rates when measured per head of population (which is what Collins is doing).

No comments: