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Government Suppresses 2001 Victims of Crime Survey

Thursday 4 Jul 2002

The Ministry of Justice has refused to release any data from last year's victims of crime household survey.

ACT Leader Richard Prebble said he had received a letter today from the Justice Ministry's acting deputy secretary, Susan Howan, claiming that there are no "public interest considerations" to justify releasing the survey.

"This is outrageous. There is an election - law and order is a major issue," Mr Prebble said.

"ACT has been told that last year's survey reveals that violent crime in New Zealand is now higher than in the United States. It is worse than in the Justice Ministry's 1995 survey, published in 1996, which showed that a third of all European New Zealanders were victims of violent crime that year and 72 percent Maori were victims.

"This is a much higher rate of offending than in the USA, Australia or the UK.

"Justice Ministry's suppression of the survey enables the Justice Minister to use misleading police statistics.

"New Zealand has a far higher conviction rate than the US - partly because OJ Simpson-type defences are not possible in New Zealand, and because our police have a higher success rate in getting convictions.

"Violent crime, even using police statistics, has gone up 10.9% under Labour.

"The crime victims survey, when it is finally published, will show every one of ACT's statements to be accurate. Rehabilitation by early release from prison of violent offenders is a policy that has spectacularly failed," Mr Prebble said.

ENDS


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