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Victims of crime getting next to nothing

Victims of crime getting next to nothing

National’s Law & Order spokesman, Simon Power, says victims of crime are seeing little of the reparation payments currently owed to them thanks to Labour’s softly-softly approach.

Figures supplied in answer to written questions show that 97%, or $57 million, of reparation not yet paid is either overdue or being drip-fed to victims in the 2004/05 financial year, and this has barely changed on the previous three years.

In 2003/04, 97% ($51m) was unpaid, in 2002/03 it was 98% ($47m), and in 2001/02 it was also 98% ($43m).

Mr Power says these figures are a scandal.

“Victims are suffering twice here – their rights are being violated twice.

“They suffer the original crime at the hands of criminals, and then salt is rubbed into their wounds when money owed to them by way of reparation is not paid.

“The Ministry of Justice is also trying to hide the true story of the overdue fines and reparation situation by taking more fines from the overdue category and putting them on to time payment, thereby considering them not overdue. But even that isn’t working, with 97% ($619 million) remaining unpaid.

“With such huge proportions remaining unpaid it is clear the system is in desperate need of an urgent overhaul – and they can start by getting tougher with people who owe this money,” says Mr Power.

“Let’s see if the Minister, Rick Barker, can ensure that this situation will improve significantly.”

Ends

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