Auckland and Waikato are the country’s top spots for ram raids and commercial crime, according to data from NZI. 

Insurance claims for commercial crime rose by 26% last year, with Auckland bearing the brunt of this increase. Of the 3,698 commercial crime claims received by NZI, 37% were in Auckland.

This put Auckland well ahead of Waikato's 18%, with Canterbury at 12%, the Bay of Plenty at 8%, and Wellington at 7%.

 “While population will no doubt factor into this, it’s clear that businesses right across the country are suffering from an increase in crime, particularly burglary,” says Garry Taylor, executive general manager at NZI.

Burglary has remained the most common type of commercial crime claim for the past five years, accounting for 75% of crime claims in 2022 (2,773 claims).

Auckland again tops the regions for burglary claims, but the Bay of Plenty had the second highest number of burglary claims in 2022, with 288 claims (after Auckland at 508), despite being ranked 8th overall for crime claims.

 “Anecdotally, the addition of vape products in dairies appears to increase the risk of burglaries,” said Taylor. “Over the past decade, security measures for cigarettes have been developed and improved and are now at generally good standards. However, vaping products, which are newer to New Zealand, tend to have fewer security measures, making them common targets for thieves.”

Ram raids soar

Ram raids also featured in insurance crime claims, with Auckland (38%), Waikato (25%) and Canterbury (10%) the top three targets in 2022, followed by the Bay of Plenty (8%). Northland and Wellington rank equally in 5th place (5% each).

In 2022, NZI received 213 ram raid claims, a 132% increase from 2021 (92 claims) and 420% above 2020 (41 claims).

“Unfortunately, we are seeing ram raids feature more often,” Taylor added. “These crimes are incredibly disruptive, and it can take a long time for businesses to recover. Often there is significant damage to the building, on top of the loss of stock. In some parts of the country, supply chain shortages have meant lead times to procure shop front glass and tradespeople has increased. 

Ram raiders tend to target branded goods and items that are easily disposable through social media – so branded clothing, surf and sports gear. Power tools and cigarettes have traditionally been stolen, but vape products are now frequent targets too.” 

Retail shops continue to be targeted

Auckland (32.5%) and Waikato (26%) lead the country in retail crime, followed by Canterbury (11%), the Bay of Plenty (9.2%) and Wellington (6.5%).

Despite accounting for only 1% of total retail theft claims, Northland had the highest average cost of retail theft-related claims. Similarly, Hawke's Bay ranked fourth for average cost despite ranking eighth for total claims lodged.

Sept 2023