One of many great reasons to consider moving to New Zealand is its low crime rate and a strong sense of community. Compared with other countries, the crime rate in New Zealand is very low. Auckland has the highest crime rate nationwide, but it is still much lower than in other cosmopolitan cities like London and New York. Violent crime is rare.
Around two-thirds of people surveyed report feeling safe in their neighbourhoods, and many of them say that there is hardly any crime in their area. In the most recent Ministry of Justice crime survey, a drop was found in rates of domestic violence, sexual offenses, and threatening behaviour. There are also fewer car thefts and thefts of property from vehicles.
Crime rates are uneven across the country, and many areas experience almost no crime at all. People who are retired, of European origin, or live in an affluent district are the least likely to be victims of crime.
Indeed, the most frequently reported crime in New Zealand is theft. Though it can take place anywhere in the country, the majority of thefts occur in cities. Theft from cars and pick-pocketing can be an issue, especially in tourist areas. Violent crime against tourists is very unusual.
As might be expected, drinking and crime are also found to be linked. There are some parts of Auckland that visitors must avoid at night because of the large numbers of people drinking here. Fighting among drunken young people does happen in New Zealand as much as it does anywhere.
Residents of New Zealand can trust that they are very safe if they take common-sense precautions. Do not leave valuables in your car, and don’t forget to lock your home and vehicle upon exiting, don’t carry valuables in a back pocket, and avoid rowdier areas after nightfall.
Victims of crime in New Zealand also have the opportunity to seek support. An organisation called Victim Support works to help victims, whether they are referred to a police report or approach the organisation independently. Victim Support services are free. There may even be funds available to victims to help manage the cost of a crime’s aftermath, including mental health counselling or attendance at court hearings.
To contact Victim Support:
Tel: 0800 842 846
The New Zealand police force works with local communities to prevent as well as investigate the crime. Officers are not generally armed with deadly weapons, carrying only Tasers and pepper spray. There are special units available for the rare cases when more force is required. The debate over arming beat officers is ongoing.
Check out the helpful information offered by the New Zealand police on staying safe in our beautiful country.