“Justice Minister Kiritapu Allan has confirmed $112 million remains outstanding in victim reparation payments,” says ACT’s Justice spokesperson Nicole McKee.

“Each year thousands of offenders fail to make any payment towards victims within the first 28 days the reparation order was imposed. These payments are for things like stolen and damaged property and emotional harm.

“The Minister admitted that the reparation system “isn’t working as fairly and effectively as it should”, this is why she should support ACT’s policy to pay victims of crime immediately, then have the Crown recover the costs from the offender.

“Financial reparations are an essential part of a victim’s recovery from trauma, but these payments can be drip-fed at amounts as low as 65 cents and in some cases can take over a decade to be paid back.

“That’s frankly insulting to victims and can prolong their trauma. Seeing a few dollars or cents in your bank account sporadically can be a painful reminder of what they’ve been through.

“ACT believes victims should be able to move on with their lives quickly from crimes and not have to bear the costs of losing their possessions or loss of income from injuries.

“Currently there is over $112 million dollars’ worth of payments owing to victims of crime. It’s expected $25 million a year would be paid out, with an aim to recover 80 per cent of that.

“We would make it the responsibility of the Crown to pay reparations to victims immediately, and to recover those costs from the offender. The Crown would pay victims their entitled reparation payments as a loan, which offenders will be expected to pay back. This will ensure victims access what is justly theirs, while ensuring taxpayers do not ultimately foot the bill.

“Any one of us could be a victim of crime at some point in our lives. ACT’s policy is fairer on victims, while continuing to make sure offenders pay for the cost of their crime.”

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