Property-related victimisations

A victimisation refers to an instance of a person, organisation or premises being exploited for a given type of offence (where an offence is any act or omission by a person that is subject to a penalty imposed by the New Zealand legal system). Property- related offences are defined as those where the intent of the offence is to obtain property or in some cases to obtain ‘a benefit’ (an advantage or privilege). The methods of acquisition include theft, the use of extortion or blackmail, or the use of deception [11].

This indicator presents the number of victimisations (theft, burglary, robbery and extortion) by month for the greater Christchurch area (stations from Canterbury Metro Area and Canterbury Rural combined to approximate the greater Christchurch boundary), from July 2014 to April 2022.

Prior to the COVID-19 lockdown in early 2020, the number of victimisations for theft fluctuated from a low of 982 in September 2014 to a high of 1,803 in January 2020. Similarly, the number of victimisations for burglary has ranged from a low of 389 in July 2014 to a high of 847 in January 2019. The figure shows a marked decrease in both theft and burglary victimisations in April 2020 during the national COVID-19 alert level-4 lockdown (to 597 and 480, respectively). There was another decline in theft victimisations in August 2021 during a national COVID-19 lockdown. However, theft victimisations have since increased and reached a high of 1,937 in March 2022. There appears to be a trend of an overall increase in the number of theft and burglary victimisations (excluding lockdown periods). Victimisations for robbery and extortion are recorded at substantially lower numbers. These numbers appear relatively stable, ranging from a low of 12 in January 2015 to a high of 60 in August 2016 (generally less than 40 per month from mid-2018 to April 2022). Note that statistical trend analysis was not available for any of these data. These data are absolute counts of property victimisations rather than rates per head of population and therefore do not reflect changes in population size over time.

The Ministry of Justice also provides information on victimisations from the New Zealand Crime and Victims Survey (NZCVS). The NZCVS provides a fuller picture of crime in New Zealand than administrative data because it captures incidents of crime that may not have been reported or recorded elsewhere. The NZCVS is a nationwide, face-to-face, continuous, representative survey of adults aged 15 years and over. Respondents are asked about incidents of crime they experienced in New Zealand during the 12-month period preceding the survey interview. In Canterbury, 30.8 percent of respondents to the fourth NZCVS 2020-21 reported being victimised (all types of offences) once or more during the last 12-months; down from 34.8 percent in the third survey in 2019-20 (New Zealand 29% and 29.3%, respectively). For property offences such as theft and/or damage, 5.6 percent of respondents in Canterbury reported being victimised once or more during in the last 12-months in the 2020-21 survey, down from 6 percent in 2019-20 (New Zealand 4.5% and 4.1%, respectively).

Data Sources

Source: New Zealand Police.
Survey/data set: Administrative data to April 2022. Access publicly available data from NZ Police website or from the Ministry of Justice website
Source data frequency: Monthly.

View technical notes and data tables for this indicator.

Updated: 02/03/2023