The government is doing a lot of work to improve the experience of victims of crime in the criminal justice system. Here are some of the major pieces of work.
- Victims Code
- Family violence and sexual violence work programme
- Chief Victims Advisor to Government
- Management of returning offenders
- National Home Safety Service
- Harmful Digital and Communications Act 2015
- The Objectionable Publications and Indecency Legislation Bill
The Government has enacted the Returning Offenders (Management and Information) Act 2015 (external link) . The Act ensures that offenders who arrive in New Zealand shortly after being released from prison in an overseas country will be subject to the same sort of oversight as offenders who served a similar prison sentence here.
Rollout of a national home safety service began on 1 July 2015. The service will help up to 400 victims of family violence a year, and up to 600 children, to stay in their homes with a significantly reduced risk of serious physical harm or violence.
The service offers practical support such as safety planning, strengthening doors and windows and installing alarms. The service is delivered by Women’s Refuge.
This Act addresses damaging communications spread through methods such as emails, texts and social media posts.
The Act has two main features at its heart. Firstly, it brings in new measures to help victims, and to simplify the process for getting harmful communications off the internet quickly and effectively. Secondly, it introduces new offences and penalties for perpetrators in the most serious cases.
There is more information about how people can keep safe online and what they can do to get objectionable material removed from the internet in social media and online safety.
This Bill modernises the law relating to objectionable publications and increases penalties for objectionable publication offences to ensure they reflect the seriousness of this type of offending. Child exploitation material is one type of objectionable publication.
The Bill amends the Crimes Act 1961, the Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act 1993 and the Customs and Excise Act 1996.
More information on policy initiatives: