2021 New Zealand Crime and Victims Survey (NZCVS)

The NZCVS reveals trends in crimes, drawing on the experiences of more than 6,200 randomly selected New Zealanders. It is the only source of information on the prevalence of reported and unreported crime.

Anton Youngman, General Manager, Sector Insights, says the survey draws on a total of almost 30,000 interviews with randomly selected New Zealanders.

"The survey has been running since 2018 and we're now able to compare the data over four years and examine trends in crime," says Anton.

The latest survey shows that about 29 percent of adults in Aotearoa New Zealand were victimised once or more in the previous 12 months. The three most common offence types were harassment and threatening behaviour; burglary; and fraud and deception. Together, these made up more than half of all offences (51 percent).

Other key findings from the 2021 Crime and Victims survey are:

  • About one in nine adults (11 percent) who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual and other adults with diverse sexuality were sexually assaulted within a 12-month period. This is more than five times higher than the New Zealand average (2 percent).
  • About 35 percent of females and 12 percent of males had experienced sexual assault in their lifetime. The proportion of those who experienced sexual assault was high in young people, with 18 percent of adults aged 15-19 already victimised in their lifetime.
  • Adults with disabilities were more likely to experience crime across personal offences and household offences after accounting for older age distribution.
  • Only 8 percent of sexual assaults were reported to the Police.
  • A higher proportion of Māori are victimised each year than any other ethnic group.
  • The overall victimisation level has remained stable before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The NZCVS provides valuable data to inform policy-making across a range of Government departments, including Te Tāhū o te Ture - the Ministry of Justice, Police, Ministry of Social Development, Te Puni Kōkiri, Department of Internal Affairs, Oranga Tamariki, and the Ministry for Women.

To learn more about the NZCVS and read the latest report, see:

New Zealand Crime and Victims Survey resources and results

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