The Statistics New Zealand figures released today show an overall 7.4 percent decrease in crime in the 2012/13 financial year.
However, sexual assaults have increased by 10.8 percent, which Deputy Commissioner Viv Rickard is putting down to “greater trust and confidence in police, rather than a spike in offending”.
“We believe that historically sexual violence is under-reported to authorities.
“Police are heartened that victims of this type of crime are coming forward and we want to assure them that police take all complaints of sexual violence seriously,” Mr Rickard says.
Dwelling assaults also increased by 1 percent.
Family violence statistics have not been included in the official statistics since 2001, but Mr Rickard says dwelling assaults give some indication of domestic violence that happens.
“Family violence continues to be a serious problem in New Zealand,” he says.