Safety, sup­port im­por­tant

South Waikato News - - NEWS - By LOUISE UPSTON,

MP for Taupo

OF­TEN when I am out talk­ing to peo­ple in South Waikato, I lis­ten to what their main ar­eas of concern are. One of the things I hear of­ten, is that peo­ple want to feel safe in the com­mu­nity.

Crime af­fects our neigh­bour­hoods, our so­ci­ety and our econ­omy.

Na­tional in­tro­duced a $50 of­fender levy on all con­victed of­fend­ers.

The levy was ex­pected to col­lect $13.6 mil­lion for vic­tims in its first four years. That’s been in­creased to $15.9 mil­lion af­ter $3 mil­lion was col­lected in 10 months, al­most $1 mil­lion more than ex­pected.

That’s al­lowed us to in­tro­duce – from July 1, five new grants and en­ti­tle­ments for vic­tims and their fam­i­lies. The new ser­vices in­clude:

Ex­pand­ing the fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance to vic­tims for court hear­ings to other jus­tice-re­lated meet­ings.

Fi­nan­cial help for fam­i­lies whose

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