Minority of New Zealanders experience majority of crime

Māori form 26 percent of the most highly victimised people, almost twice as high as their proportion of the New Zealand adult population, according to the Ministry of Justice’s latest report Highly Victimised People.

The report comes off the back of the New Zealand Crime and Victims Survey, which was released earlier this year, where 8,000 New Zealanders over 15 years of age were interviewed in March-October 2018 about their experience of crime.

The report focuses on the four percent of New Zealand adults who experience 47 percent of all crime incidents that occurred in the 12 months prior to the interview.

Highly victimised people are those who have experienced four or more criminal incidents within a 12-month period.

“Māori are significantly over-represented in the highly victimised four percent compared to other ethnic groups,” says James Swindells, Manager of Research and Evaluation.

“New Zealand Europeans are evenly represented across victim groups whereas those who identify as Pasifika, Asian and other ethnicities are significantly under-represented.

The report also found young people aged 15-29 make up a large part of the highly victimised group, whereas there are few people in that group over the age of 60.

“Interestingly, we found that people who have never been married, or in a civil union, are significantly more likely to experience more crime than those who are committed to a partner,” Mr Swindells says. The report revealed there was no difference in the level of highly victimised people in the North or South Islands, or in the four main centres of Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch.

“It’s no surprise that we found people who were highly victimised had high levels of psychological distress and were less satisfied with life,” Mr Swindells says. “This means that highly victimised people will require higher levels of mental health support to cope with their situation.”

Read the Highly Victimised People report.

The next annual New Zealand Crime and Victims Survey is due out early 2020.


Media contact: media@justice.govt.nz

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