New Crime Study finds a range of feelings about the criminal justice system

Published on 8 July 2020

Most New Zealanders feel safe, and adults who had recent contact with the criminal justice system said their experience was positive, says a new report from the Ministry’s research team, Social Wellbeing and Perceptions of the Criminal Justice System.

The majority of New Zealanders believe the Police and groups that support victims are doing a good job, and they have a high level of trust in them. However, they have less-positive views of probation officers, criminal lawyers, the prison service, judges and juries.

The study was generated from data provided by the Ministry of Justice’s 2019 New Zealand Crime and Victims Survey.

The research revealed some significant disparities among different groups within the general population across indicators including social wellbeing, feelings of safety, and perceptions and experiences of the criminal justice system.

Pacific peoples and Indian New Zealanders are more concerned about being the victim of a crime than other New Zealand adults. Māori and Pacific peoples are less likely to agree that New Zealanders are treated fairly by the Police. And Māori, Chinese and Pacific adults are all less likely to feel that their values align with the criminal justice system than other adults.

The report reveals areas of the criminal justice system that could be improved and it provides baseline data for the Government to examine the effectiveness of new justice initiatives.

These results are similar to the findings of an online survey of around 5,000 people conducted late last year by the Government’s Hāpaitia Te Oranga Tangata – Safe and Effective Justice initiative. 

Social Wellbeing and Perceptions of the Criminal Justice System Report [PDF, 1.6 MB]

Hāpaitia te Oranga Tangata - Justice survey report 2019
[PDF, 1.1 MB]

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