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Victim continues to wait for reparation

Simon Power
National Party Law & Order Spokesman

24 November 2006

Victim continues to wait for reparation

National's Law & Order spokesman, Simon Power, says it is not acceptable that any victims of crime have to wait years for reparation, let alone those who are sick and vulnerable.

He is commenting on a report that an ill elderly woman is still waiting to receive the bulk of the $2,000 in reparations she was awarded after she was attacked at her home nearly two years ago.

"I feel extremely sorry for this woman. She has received only $600 in reparation when she would have received it all by now had the order been pursued by the authorities.

"Having to wait that long under normal circumstances is not acceptable, but in her case it's appalling.

"Labour is letting victims down by allowing offenders get away for years without paying.

"Last week I released figures that show:
* 18,000 victims are owed reparations dating back more than a year, 2,300 reparations are more than 10 years old, and 617 date from the 1980s. * Of the top 10 defaulters, seven owe a total of $1.2 million, with the highest $275,000 for one outstanding order, and another owing $137,188 for three orders.
* At least 16 offenders owe reparations of more than $100,000 dating back to 1997. * 284 victims are still owed money from 1987, in one case for $20,000.

"These figures are a disgrace.

"Receiving reparation gives closure to the victims of crime, and at the moment there are thousands of victims, like this woman, who haven't got that closure because the Government is failing to ensure payments are made.

"How are victims supposed to move on with their lives if reparations ordered by the court haven't been paid? And how can justice be done when offenders are not paying up?

"This Government has had seven years to do something about improving the system, but they've done nothing. They must come up with a fast and effective means of getting reparation off offenders."


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