Ministry of Justice identifies New Zealand’s most highly victimised people

by Sol Dolor11 Jan 2020

The Ministry of Justice has brought attention to the small group of New Zealanders that experiences the most crimes in the country.

In its Highly Victimised People report, the ministry brought attention to the 4% of the population of New Zealand adults who experience four or more incidents of crime. It said that that group, which makes up 12% of all victims of crimes, experiences 47% of all crime incidents.

The report is based on the New Zealand Crime and Victims Survey (NZCVS), which interviewed, from March to October 2018, 8,000 New Zealanders aged 15 and above about their crime experiences.

The figure contrasts to a significant majority of adults (71%) and households (80%) in New Zealand not experiencing crime in the 12 months up to the interview date.

The report found that young people and Māori who have never been in a legally recognised relationship are “overrepresented in the highly victimised population.”

According to the NZCVS, people aged 65 and over (18%) were less likely to be victims of crime, while the most likely to be victims of crime were aged 20 to 29 (40%). Prevalence rates for the other age groups were: 15 to 19 (29.74%), 30 to 39 (30.55%), 40 to 49 (31.19%), 50 to 59 (30.42%), and 60 to 64 (24.15%).

The national average for victimisation was 29%, the report found. Māori (37%) were found to be more likely to be victims of crime, while Chinese (18.53%) were the least likely to be victimised. The other ethnicities’ prevalence rates were: New Zealand European (29.65%), Pacific (26.76%), Asian (24.19%), Indian (29.65%), and other ethnicity (27.13%).

The ministry said that highly victimised people experience a significantly lower proportion of household offences but a significantly higher proportion of interpersonal violence (23% vs 41%). It also said that highly victimised people experience 67% of all interpersonal violence, and found that 74% was perpetrated by community members as opposed to the 27% committed by family members.

The NZCVS estimated that there were about 1.78 million offences over the last 12 months, 68% or 1.2 million of which were personal offences and 32% or 577,000 of which were household crimes.

The Ministry of Justice also found that on average, there were 32 household offences per 100 households, and 30 personal offences per 100 adults. About 355,000 households experienced one or more household offences, and 575,000 adults experienced one or more personal offences, it found.