This page explains how people are counted in the criminal conviction and sentencing tables.
The way the tables count people differs as follows:
- The prosecuted people and the convicted offenders tables only ever count a person once. Sometimes one person may be prosecuted in court several times within a year. That person will only be counted once, and will be shown in the offence category for which they received their most serious prosecution outcome and sentence. This method is consistent with international best practice.
- The multiple-offence type prosecution and the multiple-offence type conviction tables will count a person once under the ‘all offence types’ category. When the 16 different offence types are displayed, that person will be counted once for every type of offence for which they have been prosecuted. For instance, if a person is prosecuted within a year for burglary and theft (two separate offence types), that person is counted once for burglary, and once for theft.
This counting rule means that the sum of offenders recorded for each offence type will not equal the figure given for total offenders. Also, any subtotalling of two or more offence types (eg theft and robbery) may result in an over-count of unique offenders.
How counts for geographic locations are recorded
Counts for geographic locations are recorded as follows:
- The prosecuted people and the convicted offenders tables only record the location of the most serious offence for people prosecuted by different courts in a calendar year. This method ensures that data for a person is only counted once in tables.
- The multiple-offence type prosecution and the multiple-offence type conviction tables will count a person once under the ‘all regions’ category. When the different geographic regions are displayed, that person will be counted once for every location where they have been prosecuted. For instance, if a person is prosecuted within a year in the Auckland District Court and the North Shore District Court, they will be counted once for each location.
Other points to note
- People are counted and identified by an identifier, issued by either the police or the courts.
- It is possible that a particular person may have multiple identities or aliases. Such people could be counted more than once within a calendar year.
- People statistics provide an indication of the level of criminality in the population, rather than the actual level of crime in the country.
Page published 29 May 2012