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Major crime survey reaches milestone

The Ministry of Justice’s new crime survey – The New Zealand Crime and Victims Survey” (NZCVS) – which started in March, has reached its target this month of interviewing 8,000 New Zealanders over the age of 15 about their experience of crime.

“We believe this to be New Zealand’s biggest crime survey,” says the project director, James Swindells, “and we are delighted to have met our target of 8,000 interviews on deadline with an excellent response rate of 80 percent. We want to thank the thousands of people who gave their time to share their stories.

“There is currently very little recent information on the amount of crime and the number of victims in New Zealand,” Mr Swindells says. “It is something of an information black hole for the justice sector as we know only about 30 percent of crime is reported to the police.”

Mr Swindells says the New Zealand Crime and Victims Survey will provide very valuable information and data for the Ministry of Justice, Stats NZ, Ministry of Social Development, Te Puni Kokiri, the Police, Department of Corrections, Oranga Tamariki, and the Ministry for Women.

“It will also be of great interest to the Universities and NGOs working in the justice sector,” he says. “We expect to have the top-line results published by the end of the year with a full report published in the first quarter of next year.

“We are planning for a series of follow-up reports on specific topics, for example, a theme of this survey has been family violence and we will produce a specific paper on this. We also intend to make confidentialised data available for researchers to do their own analysis.”

Mr Swindells says the NZCVS replaces the previous NZ Crime and Safety Survey (NZCASS) which often took years to publish the results and NZCVS has an improved methodology.

A random sample of New Zealanders was chosen to provide a complete picture of the population allowing for age, geographic distribution and social economic situation. The survey has a weighting towards Māori who make up 29 percent of interviews. Each respondent was visited by an interviewer for about half an hour. The information people provided for NZCVS is entirely confidential.

The New Zealand Crime and Victims Survey has been funded to run annually for the next three years.

Mr Swindells said he wanted to thank Stats NZ and the Police who have provided advice and helped ensure the fieldwork for the survey was of high quality, and in particular research company CBG for organising the fieldwork.

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