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Prebble Stands By Crime Claims

Prebble Stands By Crime Claim - A Woman is More Likely to be the Victim of Crime In New Zealand than the United States

Monday 17 Jun 2002 Richard Prebble Press Releases -- Crime & Justice -- Zero Tolerance for Crime

ACT leader Richard Prebble said today he could prove his claim that a woman was more likely to be the victim of crime in New Zealand than America.

"The Minister of Justice is using police reported crime statistics which any Police Minister - as I was - can tell you are misleading. Crimes are reported in different ways in different countries," Mr Prebble said.

"The only accepted reliable way to compare crime statistics is by crime victim surveys.

"The most reputable survey is the International Crime Victims Survey organised by the Netherlands government. Successive New Zealand governments, who know the survey will show New Zealand to have the highest crime levels in the OECD, have refused to participate in this survey. But Australia does take part.

"The latest survey, reported in 2000, shows Australia has the highest rate of crime victimisation of the 17 countries participating. Thirty percent of Australians were victims of crime at least once in a year. In the United States, the figure is 21 percent.

"We know that New Zealand's crime level is higher than Australia's. Australia's courts are not soft, yet the level of imprisonment per head of population is higher in New Zealand than Australia.

"Phil Goff's figures are silly word games - such as comparing serious assault with grievous assault - every country uses different criteria.

"The fact is, violent crime has increased more than 10 percent under Labour. It has increased more than 30 percent in the last decade.

"In New York, where they have Truth-in-Sentencing and Zero Tolerance for Crime, all crime has fallen by 30 percent - a fact even Phil Goff cannot deny.

"The surveys show it is a striking fact that except for homicide - where New Zealand is catching up - a woman is safer in the United States than New Zealand," Mr Prebble said.


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