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Crime Figures Suppressed by Government

Crime Figures Suppressed by Government

Monday 17 Jun 2002 Stephen Franks Press Releases -- Crime & Justice

The results of the New Zealand Crime Victimisation Survey done last year still haven't been released, ACT Justice Spokesman MP Stephen Franks said today.

"Has the government found they are too embarrassing? They have already made sure the results can't be properly compared with other countries.

"My written Parliamentary questions revealed that all the fieldwork was done last year. The survey will cost $800,000. It updates an earlier survey, which had worrying news about the extent of unreported crime.

"But more worrying was the government's confirmation that they have not made the survey comparable with the International Crime Victimisation Survey run by the Dutch government. All the other countries we'd want to compare with take part in the international research. For us to be part of that survey would have cost about $80,000 extra, one tenth of what we have spent for results that can't be used for New Zealanders to know where we stand.

"The international survey was very important in the last UK election because it showed the British had become, in some areas, nearly twice as violent as the United States, and that only in murder was the US still worse.

"If we had taken part in the authoritative international research Mr Goff might not have been able to make misleading use of the selective statistics he has now put out to discredit ACT.

"For example Mr Goff talks about only 54 murders last year. Police homicide figures are 97. Is Mr Goff talking about murder convictions? If so his figures will mean that a murderer who kills two or more people is only counted once, and it won't include people found not guilty by reason of insanity. The potential for slanted statistics is the reason why other countries have agreed to use the Dutch government's methodology for international comparison on crime victimisation.

"The Government has not responded to ACT's call for comparable New Zealand survey figures. Journalists who want to get to the bottom of this issue should demand the full information if Mr Goff is to be taken seriously in this debate," Mr Franks said.

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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