Burglary statistics lowest in seven years, says police

Saturday February 15, 2020 Written by Published in Crime

Police statistics for 2019 show that break-ins were tracking lower than 2018. Katrina Tanirau and Losirene Lacanivalu reports.

Three burglary cases were heard at the High Court this week but police say cases of break-ins were decreasing.

Statistics released by Cook Islands Police show burglaries dropped by more than 30 per cent last year compared to the previous year and were the lowest recorded in at least the past seven years.

Police spokesperson Trevor Pitt said these figures support and illustrate the continued success of police investigators in targeting known offenders.

A small number of repeat offenders are proving to be beyond rehabilitation, said Pitt, often committing multiple crimes while out on bail conditions like curfew.

In court this week, young man, who is a repeat offender, charged with one count of burglary was granted bail by the Justice of the Peace Georgina Williams.

Defence lawyer Norman George applied for bail for the accused Ngatupuna Teinakitama on the grounds that his client needed to resume work and resume life with his partner.

Police prosecutor senior sergeant Fairoa Tararo objected to bail and told JP Williams that the defendant must be remanded in custody due to his previous convictions on similar charges.

He argued that Teinakitama could be facing prison term for the charge.

However, Norman George argued that keeping his client in custody on the grounds of his past convictions was unnecessary and not important.

JP Williams granted bail on the conditions of; curfew between 7pm-6am, to reside in Matavera and to report to the police headquarters every Friday between 5-6pm.

The matter has been adjourned to March 12.

In other burglary matters, Benjamin Ritea Une charged for breaking into the Kaps Store in Matavera last year was represented by defence lawyer Mona Ioane. The matter has been adjourned to April 9 and no plea has been entered.

In the joint burglary charge, Tereapii Mose and Tuterangi Ataera will be sentenced on April 22.

Atera and Mose have both admitted to their charges in-relation to a number of beachside thefts and home break-ins last year.

Cook Islands Police says a comparative analysis of their statistics for 2019 shows that break-ins were tracking lower than 2018 right through the year until last August.

For three months, until October, the burglaries spiked higher because of one repeat offender, the police believe.

“His arrest brought the break-ins back into alignment with the lower annual trend,” he said.


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