19 May 2019

Chief Victims Advisor calls for more work to reduce crime revictimisation

4:54 pm on 19 May 2019

More needs to be done to stop people being repeatedly targeted by criminals, the chief victims advisor says.

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Photo: 123RF

New Zealand Crime and Victims Survey showed 47 percent of crime in the past 12 months was experienced by just four percent of adults.

The report found people aged 20 to 29 experienced 40 percent of crime, Māori were more likely to be victims of crime (37 percent) than the national average (29 percent), and those who struggle financially and with mental health were more likely to be victimised.

Chief victims advisor Kim McGregor said that was an alarming figure.

"This tells us that we have a group of people in our country experiencing huge amounts of crime revictimisation."

Dr Kim McGregor is the chief victims advisor.

Kim McGregor. Photo: Justice Department

Dr McGregor said more needed to be done in prevention to stop people from being harmed in the first place.

"As a society, we owe it to those who have been harmed to provide them with pro-active, tailored, wraparound supports specific to their needs to not only help them to heal, but also to strengthen their future well-being.

"I was pleased to see that most survivors of family violence - 90 percent - were aware of support organisations available to them.

"Hearing that only 23 percent actually contacted these organisations, however, suggests we need to work on barriers to help-seeking.

"It is also an ongoing concern for me that just 23 percent of crime is reported to the Police. This suggests that we need to work on improving the criminal justice system from a victim's perspective so that victims - survivors - feel confident they can report crime."

Dr McGregor said there needed to be accessible, specialist services for those who have been victimised, to stop them from being re-victimised.

"Victims should not have a one-size fits all response.

"Knowing about those who are likely to be victimised means we can increase tailored intervention and prevention efforts to these groups."

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