| Latest Crime News | Tuesday October 2 2012 8:09
The absence of family violence numbers from the annual crime statistics is being criticised.
The numbers were released yesterday, and show overall, crime has decreased.
But the stats don't include family violence cases, under a decision made by police in April.
Women's Refuge chief executive Heather Henare says that means they can't read too much into this year's figures.
"It doesn't reflect the true situation of domestic violence throughout the country and it really makes domestic violence invisible."
She says there's more awareness around violence in general.
"The sexual violence taskforce did an enormous amount of work over the last couple of years to try and raise levels of reporting and raise the awareness around sexual violence."
Meanwhile Canterbury's murder rate is on the up and some are questioning if that's because of the quakes.
Statistics show a general trend of lowering levels of crime across the region but there were 10 murders in the past year, compared with just three in the 12 months previous.
Canterbury University Professor of Sociology Greg Newbold says it's hard to say if they're related to earthquake stresses or if it's just a blip in the figures.
"There are higher levels of tension in some areas and we know that there's been a lot more domestic violence so it may have something to do with that, but you'd need to look at every individual murder and look at the circumstances of those murders before you could make any determination."
There's been a 21-percent drop in the number of burglaries in that region.
Professor Newbold believes the potential burglars have moved out of Christchurch.
"And it's also the case I think that burglars tend to hit their own areas and a lot of those areas have been wiped out - not only are there fewer people but there's also fewer targets."
Further north, Auckland retailers are welcoming a rise in reported crime in the CBD.
The latest statistics show the number of public disorder offences have gone up by 46 percent..
Heart of the City spokeswoman Tania Loveridge says there's been an increase in the police presence dealing with antisocial behaviour, leading to more arrests.
She says it's not necessarily a negative to have more offences recorded.
Ms Loveridge says that reflects increased police presence focusing on liquor offences and antisocial behaviour.
"An increased presence of both police, the city watch, we've got some fantastic Asian patrols and also the Maori wardens out in the city centre. Anecdotally that is having a positive impact on people feeling safer when they're coming into the city centre, particularly in the evenings."
Auckland's Deputy Mayor says statistics showing a rise in crime in the central city is a positive sign that a police crack down is working.
Penny Hulse says the stats shows crime in Auckland, especially in Manukau, out west and on the North Shore, are down, but the central city public disorder and drug offences are up.
She says more arrests are being made by police for liquor and drug offences.
"And that is explained again by an absolute crackdown in things like tinny houses and known drug traffickers - these are the two areas the Auckland central are focusing on and the crime stats are up and we think that's a very good thing - it means they're getting the bad guys."
Photo: NZ Herald