Save the cars: ram raids down by 80% in 2024

Jet Sanchez
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In a remarkable turn of events for car owners and enthusiasts, the incidence of ram raids has reportedly decreased by over 80 per cent in April 2024 compared to the same month last year.

Police reports indicate only 12 ram raids in April 2024, a significant drop from 64 in April 2023. This sharp decline points to the success of intensified efforts to combat this destructive crime.

Historical trends

Ram raid data New Zealand
Photo / NZ Police

Looking at provisional police data from April 2017 to April 2024, the trend shows a consistent decline in ram raids since their peak in August 2022, when there were 86 incidents.

In 2022, a total of 433 ram raids were recorded, which fell to 288 in 2023, and only 67 in the first four months of 2024. This steady decrease suggests that measures to prevent these crimes are taking effect.

The impact on cars

Ram raids are not only a threat to businesses but also to the vehicles used in these crimes. Cars, often stolen or forcibly taken, suffer significant damage during these raids.

The high-speed impact can render a vehicle unusable, leading to substantial financial losses and increased insurance premiums. The reduction in ram raids, therefore, is a welcome relief for car owners and insurance companies, helping preserve vehicle integrity and reduce associated costs.

Fighting ram raids

In a bid to further clamp down on this crime, new legislation was introduced in August. The Ram Raid Offending and Related Measures Amendment Bill aims to include ‘smash-and-grabs’ under the Crimes Act.

This bill empowers police to prosecute individuals involved in these crimes, including children as young as 12, with potential sentences of up to 10 years in prison. The legislation also targets those who act as passengers or film the incidents, ensuring that all participants face consequences.

A considerable portion of those involved in ram raids are young people. Around 70 per cent of identified offenders are aged between 14 and 17, with another 12 per cent aged between 10 and 13.

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