10 Dec Report into highly victimised people highlights need for victim-centric justice system
Victim Support says a report showing only 4% of New Zealand adults experience 47% of all crime highlights the need for change in the criminal justice system to be more victim-centric.
The Ministry of Justice report Highly Victimised People released today showed Māori, young people, and people who have never been in a legally recognised relationship were over-represented amongst those who experienced four of more criminal incidents in a 12-month period.
“Past experience as a victim of crime is a strong predictor of future victimisation,” said Victim Support Chief Executive Kevin Tso.
“There are many reasons for this, but we know that victims’ experience of the justice system affects their likelihood of reporting crime and participating in the justice system again.
“It’s absolutely critical victims feel that they are safe to report crime, and to ask for the help they need to reduce harm.
“For some of our population, that is obviously not the case at the moment. We need to expect better, and do better.”
Research released by Victim Support earlier this year showed victims face barriers of fear, exclusion, and unfairness to participation in the justice system and finding justice.*
Many victims in the study described a justice system that ticked boxes rather than genuinely cared about them, said Mr Tso.
“If we want to prevent victimisation and re-victimisation, we need to have a justice system that is responsive to victims at every stage, and in particular, one that is responsive to Māori.”
Mr Tso said Victim Support offers free 24/7 emotional, practical and financial support to victims of crime, and supported people even if they hadn’t reported the crime.
* Victim Support research, Victims’ Voices: The Justice Needs and Experiences of New Zealand Serious Crime Victims, found 68% of victims in the study felt justice had not been served in their case and 59% said they had no faith in the justice system. See the full report here: