Additional measures to improve community safety

Bill English

Wellington, April 4, 2017

We are here to make a difference in the areas that really matter to Kiwis.

That is why we have been working hard to put in place a comprehensive plan aimed at preventing and reducing the impact of crime to help build a safer New Zealand.

Victim Support

Last week, Police Minister Paula Bennett and a number of other National MPs joined Police and Victim Support staff and volunteers to officially launch a range of new Victim Support brochures for ethnic communities. These will make Victim Supports services more accessible to victims of crime who have limited English.

This new material is available in Hindi, Korean, Japanese, Tongan, Samoan and simplified Chinese, and will be available at Police stations and Victim Support offices around New Zealand.

These new brochures have important information about Victim Supports services that can help people affected by crime, trauma and suicide. It guides them on how to participate fairly and fully in the justice system and get through the tough times in life.

It is great to see that more of our ethnic communities will now have better access to the support they need and that language will no longer be a barrier to receiving these services. They are, after all, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and free of charge.

Making services like Victim Support more accessible is just the first step in keeping our communities safer. We are also reforming a number of laws and investing in Police in a wider effort to make our ethnic communities feel safe.

Domestic Violence Act

Justice Minister Amy Adams recently introduced The Family and Whnau Violence Legislation Bill to Parliament in order to overhaul the Domestic Violence Act and amend 39 other pieces of legislation, regulations, and Orders in Council.

This new legislation helps build a new way of dealing with this issue and will go a long way to reducing New Zealands rate of family violence.

Early this year, Police Minister Paula Bennett and I also announced a new $503 million Safer Communities package to reduce crime, prevent reoffending and make our communities safer. It will see increase total police staff numbers by 1125 and include another 880 sworn officers.

This investment also includes 20 new Police ethnic liaison officers. These officers will provide Police with additional resources to help Indian, Korean, and other ethnic communities go about their lives and business safely and with confidence.

This National-led Governments drive to reduce crime and create safer communities is central to our plan to build a brighter future for all New Zealanders. You and your family deserve to be safe at home, at work and in your communities.

Bill English is Prime Minister of New Zealand.

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