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Issue No. 374 October 2013

Prevention in action
By Commissioner Peter Marshall

Commissioner Peter Marshall, Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae and Lady Janine Mateparae with, from left, pathologist Dr Simon Stables, Sergeant Dene Duthie, retired sergeant Noel Bigwood, retired inspector Kevin Kalff; Senior Sergeant Gordon Spite, and Senior Constable Phil Simmonds.
Photo: Photography by Woolf

The latest crime statistics make encouraging reading and can be taken as evidence that our focus on prevention is on the right track.

The 7.4 percent fall in offending means there were 365,185 recorded offences in the 2012/13 financial year against 394,522 the previous year - that's a difference of 29,337.

That represents thousands of people who didn't become victims and millions of dollars worth of property not stolen or damaged.

However, we cannot be complacent. There are areas which need more attention.

We must maintain our Prevention First approach.

This does not mean our staff no longer respond to crime - we do respond, most effectively.

I urge staff to think about prevention as a frontline tool. If you're dealing with a victim, ask yourself: "What can I do to prevent them becoming a victim again?"

Prevention means policing smarter. We know a small percentage of the population causes 70 percent of the crime, six percent of the population suffers 60 percent of the crime, and 75 percent of crime occurs in five percent of locations.

So focusing on the right people and places makes a significant difference. That's what we've been doing, and that's what the statistics show.

Keep up the momentum and we'll continue to make inroads into crime - and to command record levels of public trust and confidence.

It's good to see our people also inspire 'official' trust and confidence. I was very proud to stand with serving and former staff at Government House recently as they received well-deserved Royal Honours, as the picture shows.

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