Crimes Act strengthened to better protect children, now in force
Tue 20 Mar 2012
The Crimes Amendment Act (No 3) 2011, which strengthens provisions in the Crimes Act 1961 particularly in relation to violent and sexual offending, ...
The Crimes Amendment Act (No 3) 2011, which strengthens provisions in the Crimes Act 1961 particularly in relation to violent and sexual offending, came into effect on 19 March 2012.
- creates a new offence of failure to protect a child or vulnerable adult from the risk of death, grievous bodily harm, or sexual assault and sets a maximum penalty of 10 years' imprisonment
- doubles the maximum penalty for cruelty to a child from five years to 10 years' imprisonment and extends it to include vulnerable adults
- amends the offence of sexual grooming to provide for offending that has been discovered through covert police investigation where a police officer has been posing as a young person
- increases the maximum penalty for possession of an offensive weapon from two to three years in response to concerns about knife crime
- amends the definition of claim of right so that the defence is only available in circumstances where the defendants believed they had a proprietary or possessory right in the property.
Updated 4 July 2012
Read Crimes Amendment Act (No.3) 2011 New Zealand Legislation online
Read Crimes Act strengthened to better protect children, Minister of Justice media release, 19/3/2012
Watch Breaking the code of silence (video), Court Report, TVNZ7, 26 March 2012
Read New legislation: Crime Amendment Act 2011, Child Matters
Read Reporting abuse of children and vulnerable adults, Citizens Advice Bureau
Read Criticism of new abuse law rejected, NZ Herald, 19/3/2012
Read Greater protection for vulnerable adults, Age Concern media release, 19/3/2012
Abeygoonesekera, H. Standing up for those who are vulnerable, NZ Lawyer, 9 March 2012, 179