13 Mar 2017

Govt likely to miss violent crime target

5:25 pm on 13 March 2017

The government looks unlikely to meet its self-set target for reducing violent crime, under the latest information released for its 'Better Public Services' targets.

It might also miss its target for lowering reoffending rates.

Police forensic team.

Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

The government said it was on track to meet seven of its targets for the delivery of public services, but said four needed "more work" if those targets were to be met.

The Better Public Service targets, which were set in 2012, include welfare dependency, immunisation rates and violent offending.

One of the targets was to reduce the rate of total crime by 20 percent by June 2018, violent crime by 20 percent by June this year and youth crime by 25 percent by June this year.

Total crime is down by 14 percent since June 2011, and youth crime by 32 percent.

However, violent crime has only been reduced by 2 percent since 2011.

Another target was to reduce the reoffending rate by 25 percent by this year, but that has only fallen by 4.4 percent.

The government had earlier signalled it would change the way this was measured because the total number of reoffenders, as opposed to the rate, had dropped by 26 percent.

Children's wellbeing targets nearly met

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman said, while there had been gains around immunisation, more work needed to be done - with the result, at 93-94 percent, just falling short of the target of having 95 percent of eight-year-olds fully immunised by this June.

The government was on track to meet its target to reduce assaults on children by 5 percent, but was still slightly short of its target of having 98 percent of children starting school having had early childhood education, with a result of 96.7 percent.

The result for the target of having 85 percent of 18-year-olds achieving NCEA Level 2 or equivalent was sitting at 85.2 percent.

The number of 25 to 34-year-olds with Level 4 and above was 57.2 percent, compared with the target of 60 percent by June 2018.

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