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What Are The Real Crime Figures?

What Are The Real Crime Figures?

ACT Justice Spokesman Stephen Franks today said the New Zealand Police statistics for crime, released today, were bad enough - with crime up in every category, and the most serious violent categories up 30 percent - but said it is the victimisation figures not released that were much more worrying.

"These confirmed figures prove the misuse of provisional Police figures, by Ministers George Hawkins and Phil Goff, before the last election," Mr Franks said.

"They claimed to be delivering on their election promises and to be on top of crime. That's now shown to be false. When I was a commercial lawyer, if directors had misused statistics that way they'd be facing a lawsuit.

"But all Police crime records understate the true impact of crime. Internationally, crime victimisation surveys are a more consistent measure of success or failure in criminal justice policy.

"Something very mysterious has happened to our crime victimisation survey, the most important crime figures. A reputable survey firm was contracted to do the survey in October 2001. The contracted report date was March 29, 2002. It never appeared. I thought at the time it was because it was embarrassingly close to the elections.

"But it has still not surfaced, though the Government is to pay nearly $1 million for it. Answers to my questions of the Justice Ministry say the report has been delayed because the figures needed to be `reworked'. The report is almost a year overdue.

"Where is it? What kind of `reworking' are the figures suffering?

"Even more significantly, New Zealand chose not to be part of the International Crime Victimisation Survey, conducted for 17 countries by the Dutch Government. For an extra $80,000 we could have been part of it. We could now be seeing how we compare with Australia, Britain, the US, Canada and other countries.

"Today's increases in Police crime figures represent thousands more people who have been stolen from, robbed, and raped. But where are the victimisation figures? Should the Police be investigating the secret survey, missing without a trace? Should the survey be in the crime figures, as a victim of Ministerial intimidation or abduction?" Mr Franks said.

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