A damning report showing that burglary statistics were doctored in Counties Manukau over three years, warrants more than a verbal assurance from Minister Anne Tolley that it has never happened elsewhere, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Jacinda Ardern.
“We are absolutely reliant on crime statistics to give us an accurate picture of the level of crime in New Zealand, and whether progress has been made in certain areas. To find that these statistics were deliberately manipulated undermines the entire system, not to mention the work of other police districts who have recorded their crimes accurately.
“We have long had concerns that targets can lead to distorted behaviour. If government wants to set goals to reduce certain types of crime, they have to be incredibly careful to ensure it happens in reality, not just on paper.
“The government has been crowing about crime statistics being at their lowest point in decades. This report leaves a question mark over that.
“The system for recording crime and incidents requires quite deliberate actions to be manipulated in this way. The Minister needs to deal with this situation transparently so we know why, and how this occurred, and how the audit of recorded crime failed to pick this issue up.
“For the sake of both the public, and the police, the Minister needs to demonstrate that this incident was indeed isolated,“ Jacinda Ardern said.