Physical Security and Safety

This information from Stats NZ  2014 remains unchanged.

Between 1987 and 2010, the rate of death from assault per 100,000 people decreased 23 percent

  • The rate of death from assault fluctuated between 1987 and 2010, peaking in the early 1990s.
  • Although the overall trend decreased 22.6 percent over the whole period, it has changed little since 2000.

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Information from NZ Police website

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OECD Summary 2013

Personal security is a core element for the well-being of individuals, and largely reflects the risks of people being physically assaulted or falling victim to other types of crime. Across the OECD, assault rates have generally declined in the past five years. In New Zealand, 2.2% of people reported falling victim to assault over the previous 12 months, less than the OECD average of 3.9%. There is a difference of almost 2 percentage points between men and women in assault rates, at respectively 3.2% and 1.4%.

The homicide rate (the number of murders per 100,000 inhabitants) is a more reliable measure of a country’s safety level because, unlike other crimes, murders are usually always reported to the police. According to the latest OECD data, New Zealand’s homicide rate is 1.9, lower than the OECD average of 4.1. In New Zealand, the homicide rate for men is 2.5 compared with 1.4 for women.

Fear of crime is another important indicator as it can constrain behaviour, restrict freedom and threaten the foundation of communities. Despite a general reduction in assault rates in the past five years, in many OECD countries feelings of security have declined. In New Zealand, 67% of people feel safe walking alone at night, slightly lower than the OECD average of 69%. While men are at a greater risk of being victims of assaults and violent crimes, women report lower feelings of security than men. This has been explained by a greater fear of sexual attacks, the feeling they must also protect their children and their concern that they may be seen as partially responsible.