WELLINGTON, April 2 (Xinhua) -- Police and government officials Tuesday hailed figures showing reported crime in New Zealand was at its lowest rate in 24 years last year.
Last year saw the number of reported offenses drop 7.4 percent to 376,013, with significant falls in burglary, serious assaults, robbery and vehicle thefts, said a statement from the New Zealand Police.
"By international standards New Zealand is a very safe country to live in and these latest figures suggest that fewer people are experiencing crime," police Acting Commissioner Viv Rickard said in the statement.
The earthquake-stricken Canterbury region stood out from the rest of the country with a 5.6-percent rise in reported crimes, but these needed to seen in the context of the February 2011 quake that killed 185 people, said Rickard.
"After the earthquake there was a sudden large decrease in recorded crime, in particular theft and property damage," he said
"Since February 2011, there has been a gradual rise in recorded offenses in Canterbury, but overall offense volumes are still below what they were before the quakes."
The overall national resolution rate remained at 47 percent, the same as in 2011.
Police Minister Anne Tolley said increases in frontline police numbers had led to crime falling for the third year in a row.
"Our communities will welcome the significant drops in burglary, robbery, theft, vehicle theft and serious assaults," Tolley said in a statement.
"While the statistics from 2012 and the previous two years are extremely impressive, I believe there is much more to come, as officers equipped with the latest technology increase their effectiveness and visibility on our streets."