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National Survey of Victims of Crime 2001 Report

Media Release

New Zealand National Survey of Victims of Crime 2001 research report released

12 May 2003

The New Zealand National Survey of Crime Victims 2001 released today by the Ministry of Justice shows that victimisation has generally not increased since 1995.

The survey is the second in a series, the first survey having been conducted in 1996. It explored the experience of crime victimisation of around 5000 randomly selected New Zealanders aged 15 or more during the preceding 12 months.

“There has been very little change in the estimated number of victimisations over the five years from 1995 to 2000, despite a slight population increase,” said Dr Warren Young, Deputy Secretary for Justice.

“There are some indications of a reducing trend between 1995 and 2000 in total violent victimisations from 37.3 per 100 to 27.4. Violent victimisations include threats. There has been no statistically significant change in total household victimisations (burglary, property taken from homes, and theft from and of motor vehicles) with figures of 30.2 per 100 in 1995 and 30.9 in 2000.

“An upward trend, however, was found for victimisations of individual property offences (general theft, damage and theft from a person). Figures have moved from 11.9 to 17.6 per 100.”

“The survey also showed that the substantial majority of New Zealanders (71%) were not victims of crime during the year 2000. Most of the victimisations that were sufffered were of a minor nature, with around 60% of victimisations not reported to Police mainly because the individuals described the impact as minor.

However, a minority (4%) of people were victimised repeatedly and experienced the bulk of crime. They were more likely to be young, Mâori, solo parents and those living on benefits.

“Needs of victims were better met by Victim Support in 2000 than they were in 1995. However, there is still room for further improvement in the targeting of assistance to those in greatest need. About a third of victims contacted by Victim Support did not want or accept the support offered, and eight percent of victims wanted additional support or help.

“Most New Zealanders saw their local areas as relatively safe. Some participants in the survey said that they were ‘very worried’ about victimisation, although they tended to be just as worried about the prospect of serious illness or an accident in the home.

“Surveys of crime victims provide a more stable picture of crime victimisation over time than statistics collected within the criminal justice system because they are less affected by whether people report their victimisation,” said Dr Young.

The Ministry of Justice commissioned the New Zealand National Survey of Crime Victims 2001 in collaboration with NZ Police, the Department for Courts and the Ministry of Social Development. The project was undertaken by a consortium led by ACNielsen Ltd and which included researchers from Victoria and Auckland Universities.

“The principal author of the report, Dr Allison Morris, is a criminologist of international standing,” said Dr Young.


Note: A copy of The New Zealand National Survey of Victims of Crime 2001 is available on the web at http://www.justice.govt.nz

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