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Victimisation Report: Fact Or Fiction?

Victimisation Report: Fact Or Fiction?

ACT New Zealand Justice Spokesman Stephen Franks today demanded that Justice Minister Phil Goff come clean over the 2001 Crime Victimisation Survey, now more than a year late.

"Mr Goff's Crime Victimisation Survey Report is well on its way to becoming one of the great mysteries of our time. What does it say? Where has it gone? Did it ever really exist? Was it just the election last year that scared it into hiding? Who is hiding it?" Mr Franks said.

"The saga of the report began in early 2001. Mr Goff's Ministry sought tenders for an update of an earlier comprehensive New Zealand survey.

"AC Nielsen, a reputable company, was contracted to do the work, and the field work was allegedly done around October 2001. They had been involved in the previous survey, so must have known how to go about it. The price was around $800,000.

"New Zealand chose not to be part of the International Crime Victimisation Survey. Conducted by the Dutch Government for 17 countries, this survey would have cost us an extra $80,000 and enabled us to compare our figures with those of participants such as Britain, the US, Australia and Canada.

"The contracted report date was March 29 2002. That date came and went, with the report nowhere to be seen. The mystery of the missing report had begun.

"In answer to my questions, the Ministry said the report has been delayed because the data must be `re-worked'. Re-worked? The plot thickens. What must the report contain, that the Government has needed more than a year to `re-work' its figures?

"On March 29 2003, the report was more than a year overdue, without any explanation from the Minister. Nearly $1 million in taxpayers' money is to be paid for a report that is currently as tangible as smoke in the air.

"Mr Goff must come clean on the report and release it. I fear, however, that we will never see it, because it has unwelcome news - that New Zealand is one of the highest crime countries in the western world. Do they want it to become an `urban myth' - which everyone has heard of but no one will ever see?" Mr Franks said.

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