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Source: New Zealand Police (National News)

The rate of homicide in New Zealand increased in 2018, provisional figures released today show.

However overall the statistics for the last 12 years indicate the rate of homicide is trending down.

The statistics released today are the official homicide victim statistics for 2007-2017, plus provisional figures for 2018. The report details the homicide of 737 people over an 11-year period across New Zealand.

“The report gives insights that are important and of public interest,” says Detective Superintendent Tom Fitzgerald, National Manager: Criminal Investigations.

“However, we must not lose sight of the fact that every one of these numbers represents a person whose life has ended prematurely at the hands of another, in often tragic and horrific circumstances.”

The 11-year period saw an over-all declining trend in homicide numbers. The first five years from 2007-2011 averaged of 74 homicides a year, while from 2012-2017 this dropped to 61. The lowest annual figure of 50 was in 2017.

Provisional figures for 2018 indicate a total of 73 homicides.

Of the 737 homicides, around 7 out of 10 were murders.

“Over the 11-year period, 62 percent of homicide victims were male and 38 percent were female. Those of European descent appear most frequently in the homicide data, but Maori account for approximately a third of all victims, yet make up only one seventh of New Zealand’s population,” says Detective Superintendent Fitzgerald.

“The data also enables us to link victims to the offender with respect to the type of relationship they had.

“Women continue to be over-represented in victimisation of those killed by partners or ex-partners – about 75 percent were female and 25 percent were male.

“Family harm is a serious issue that affects people of all walks of life, with victims of all ages from infants through to the elderly,” says Detective Superintendent Fitzgerald.

“Disturbingly, children under the age of five made up 12 percent of homicide victims, and around one in five were under 18. These victims include the most vulnerable members of society, who too often are killed by those whose job it is to keep them safe.

Note: Homicide statistics are not released monthly like other official Police statistics because investigations typically take many months and data on homicides can take up to two years to stabilise.

Issued by Police Media Centre