The NZCASS measures people’s perceptions on a range of topics:
Because we asked about people’s perceptions at the time of interview, they relate to 2014. This differs from crime rates, where we asked people about offences committed from 1 January 2013, the year before the interview.
Colmar Brunton runs a separate survey to investigate public perceptions about crime and the criminal justice system, on the Ministry’s behalf. This survey was run for the first time in 2013, and again in 2014.
While there is some overlap in the content of the NZCASS and the Public Perceptions of Crime and the Criminal Justice System Survey (PPS), we can’t directly compare results from the surveys because the surveys use different designs and methodologies. For example, the NZCASS is a nationwide face-to-face random probability survey, while the PPS is an online survey which uses Colmar Brunton’s research panel.
For more information on the PPS, and the 2014 results, go to Public perceptions of crime and the criminal justice system survey – 2014 results.
In 2013, we found a range of decreases across the different measures and types of crime. To find out if New Zealanders could perceive this fall, we asked two questions:
In 2014, 69% of adults didn’t think there was a crime problem in their neighbourhood, more than in 2009 (65%).
The most commonly perceived neighbourhood crime problem in 2014 was burglary / break-ins.
Of adults who thought there was a crime problem in their neighbourhood and who’d lived in their neighbourhood for a year or longer:
In 2014, 72% of all adults felt safe alone in their neighbourhood after dark and 28% felt unsafe.
Women (42%) were more likely to feel unsafe compared to the NZ average (28%), and men were less likely to feel unsafe (14%).
Seniors (those aged 65 years and over) were more likely to feel unsafe (35%) compared to the NZ average, and young people (those aged 15–19 years old) were less likely to feel unsafe (22%).
Looking at the percentage of adults fairly or very worried about being victimised by selected offences, all were down in 2014 compared with 2009.
|Offence||% of adults fairly|
or very worried 2014
|Comparisons to 2009|
|Traffic accident by drunk driver||49%||Down from 58%|
|Credit card fraud||49%||Down from 55%|
|Burglary||47%||Down from 58%|
|Vehicle damage or interference||42%||Down from 53%|
|Vehicle theft||37%||Down from 48%|
|Robbery||29%||Down from 39%|
|Assault by strangers||28%||Down from 37%|
|Sexual assault||23%||Down from 27%|
|Assault by people known||10%||Down from 14%|
The following table shows the ratings of each criminal justice group in 2014:
In 2013, 59% of households took action to improve their home security. People most commonly said they were making improvements because their home was going to be left empty (35%).
People who didn’t make improvements most commonly said this was because they thought their home was reasonably secure (65%).
66% of adults who had been a victim of an offence in 2013 made improvements to their home security, compared to 54% of adults who hadn’t been a victim.
Of adults who experienced burglary in 2013, 74% made improvements to their home security. This compares to 57% of adults who had not experienced a burglary in 2013.
In 2013, 92% of households didn’t take part in a neighbourhood support group.
The top reasons for not participating were:
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