Police have announced they will now aim to attend nearly all of New Zealand’s 35,000 home burglaries a year.
AUT senior criminology lecturer John Buttle said the main reason burglars were caught was because there were witnesses, but burglaries rarely have witnesses and criminals plan not to be seen.
“So the fact that police officers are going to turn up and talk to the people who haven’t seen the burglar, really isn’t going to make a difference to my mind.”
While he said no change to the resolution rate was likely, it was hard to say what would have an impact.
“There’s probably nothing they can do. And I mean if you turn around and look internationally, it’s not just New Zealand police who are useless at catching burglars, it’s pretty much every police force. They all suffer from the same statistic. No matter what they try to do they all suffer from that same statistic; really, really low resolution rates for burglary.”
Mr Buttle said the move was more about public perception.
The question also is: where do these officers come from? Either they have been terribly inefficient all this time, or they are not doing something else.
“If nothing else for a victim it provides peace of mind and security and I’ve kind of accepted the fact that I’m never going to get my stuff back and I’m probably never going to get the chance to make a victims statement to these people but the fact that the police have done such an outstanding job, that adds, that’s why we have police.
The Insurance Council has welcomed the move.
“Clearly burglaries add to the cost of claims so any initiative that leads to a reduction in those costs has got to be welcomed,” its CEO Tim Grafton said.
“It’s a significant cost if you’ve got 35,000 burglaries. I don’t know typically what the average cost of a burglary is but if we’re talking a few thousand dollars then definitely we’re talking millions of dollars. But obviously for society and individuals who’ve been burgled, I’ve been burgled, it’s not a very pleasant experience at all and it’s good to see this kind of response coming out.”
The real solution is to lock these leeches up for much longer. And much sooner. Once they are caught, they may not be linked to hundreds of burglaries that remain “unsolved”, but the burglary rate in that area drops overnight.
On top of that, we need a Three Strikes rule. If you’re dense enough to get caught and convicted three times for burglary, you are clearly hard of learning, and the consequent is a serious amount of time inside jail. Not because you’re that bad or dangerous, but society isn’t willing to put up with your shit any more.
– Tom Furley, RNZ