We can measure the amount of crime in different ways depending on what question we need to answer. Sometimes, we think about the number of incidents or offences committed, while other times we need to think about the number of people or households who were victims of crime.
What’s the difference between an incident and an offence?
In the NZCASS, an incident is a situation that occurred at a specific place and time, where 1 or more offences were committed. In the NZCASS, we can code up to 2 offences within a single incident of crime.
For example, someone may have had their house burgled and been sexually assaulted. Both the burglary and the sexual assault are seen as separate offences.
As such, the total number of incidents will be lower than the total number of offences.
In 2013, there were 1.9 million incidents of crime. This is a reduction of 30% compared to 2008, when there were 2.7 million incidents.
It’s estimated that 497,000 (almost half a million) household incidents and 1,375,000 (1.4 million) personal incidents occurred in 2013. While there was no statistically significant change between 2005 and 2008 for either household or personal incidents, both fell between 2008 and 2013 – by 40% and 25% respectively.
‘Household offences’ are when the respondent’s household is the victim of crime rather than the respondent personally (for example, burglary). ‘Personal offences’ are when respondents themselves are the victim of crime, rather than their household (for example, assaults).
Incidence rates are an average which takes into account that some people or households are victimised more than once. These rates don’t take into account that victimisation is unevenly distributed across the population.
On average in 2013, there were:
This estimate of crime helps us understand how victimisation is distributed across the population, but it doesn’t take into account that people or households can be victimised more than once.
The total number of adults that were victims of either a household or a personal offence fell in 2013, down 31% from 2008 to 865,000.
There were 281,000 households that experienced 1 or more household offences in 2013, down by 36% since 2008. There were 399,000 adults that experienced 1 or more personal offences in 2013, down by 30% since 2008.
Looking at the percentage of people victimised in 2013, we found that almost a quarter (24%) of adults experienced 1 or more incidents (either a personal offence or lived in a household that experienced a household offence), down from 37% in 2008.
In this section, we discuss the types and characteristics of crime and victimisation in New Zealand. To understand the nature of crime, we look at:
When we look at the types of crime committed, we found that in 2013:
Looking at the profile of violent compared to non-violent crime, we found that 67% of all NZCASS incidents were violent interpersonal offences; only 33% were non-violent.
Looking at the number of offences committed in 2013 by the victim’s relationship to the offender, we found that:
Estimates for different types of relationship groupings are available in the NZCASS extent and nature of crime data tables.
One aspect of violent interpersonal crime is whether a weapon was used. Where a victim had contact with the offender (or offenders), we asked whether the offender had a weapon or something they used, or threatened to use, as a weapon.
In 2013, a weapon was used in 18% of violent interpersonal offences. We found no statistically significant change between 2008 and 2013.
Another aspect of the nature of crime is whether crime is a one-off occurrence or whether people experience multiple or repeat crimes. See our for more information page
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