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Busy month for police despite drop in burglaries

Wednesday September 12, 2018 Written by Published in Crime

More than 500 incidents were reported to the Cook Islands Police service last month, up from 363 in July and 259 in June.


While police successfully reduced the number of break-ins around the island last month, police spokesman Trevor Pitt says August was “by no means a quiet month.”

“On the contrary,” he said in a statement posted on Facebook.  

“Those earlier figures are being dwarfed. More than 130 of the reported incidents in August were offences. July was a similar amount with 132. And June recorded 101 offences.”

Pitt said last month’s breaches of the law had been dominated by motor vehicle crashes, domestic violence and contempt of court. There were 30 incidents involving theft and unlawful taking.

During the month, police made 42 arrests.

“There were five arrests for burglary and a targeted effort on known offenders, which kept the break-ins to a low of nine,” said Pitt.

He added that a “considerable amount of police time was taken up with peace-keeping duties, such as removing troublesome drunks and controlling excessively noisy gatherings.

“Disputes among family members with arguments, and disturbances between neighbours also add to the non-offences on a regular basis. Dysfunctional relationships often rely on police presence to quell the issues.

“In addition, police are regularly called to control animals, which have been left to wander. Pigs, cows, goats, and dogs are the subject of numerous complaints each month.”

Even during relatively quiet times, police were conducting curfew checks on up to 20 people on court orders every night. They were also working at road traffic checkpoints, and patrolling the island’s “at risk” spots, Pitt said.

“The duties performed by police officers each month is a heavy load, as these figures indicate.

“It should be no surprise that the service requires all the resources it can get, including wide-spread help from the community.

Meanwhile, the number of cars involved in road accidents edged out the number of motorcycles in crashes last month, for the first time.

Pitt said there were 12 incidents involving cars compared with 11 involving motorbikes. A total of 37 vehicles were involved in the 26 motor vehicle crashes reported to the police in August.

“Generally, the number of cars involved in incidents is lower,” said Pitt.

“In the previous month of July, cars in accidents numbered 11 compared with 17 motorbikes. Prior to that, the number of cars involved had been considerably lower.

“Overall, the road statistics compiled by the police do not reflect improvement in driver behaviour and attitudes. Alcohol and speeding were again the major contributors to the crashes in August. There were 16 road-related arrests.

Pitt said local males above the age of 25 driving motorbikes remained the most at-risk group.

“Most of the accidents are continuing to occur in daylight hours from 7am to 3pm and the more congested areas of Te Au O Tonga (town) district the more prone to collisions and spills.”

            - Release

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