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Government Serious About Reducing Crime

The Insurance Council has applauded another Government initiative aimed at improving the safety and security of New Zealander's.

Insurance Council Chief Executive Christopher Ryan says the Government is showing a real commitment to increasing the quality of life for law-abiding New Zealanders.

The Insurance Council was commenting on the sentencing and parole reforms released by the Justice Minister Phil Goff today. The Bill will target those guilty of the worst types of murder, provide more scope for judges, and provide clear sentencing guidelines so judges are more certain about sentencing. It also assists the victims of crime.

The Bill comes in the wake of a number of other initiatives, including the bail bill and the DNA testing of criminals, promoted by Police Minister George Hawkins.

The Insurance Council says criminals are costing New Zealanders at least 20 million dollars a month in crimes relating to burglary, vandalism and theft of motor vehicles. On top of that is the enormous human cost and suffering that is a result of violence against law-abiding citizens.

The Insurance Council says today's move is just the latest in a range of other Government initiatives aiming at waging war on crime. These include reducing youth crime, particularly the establishment a task force on youth offending.

"The real commitment of the current Government to repairing damage inflicted on our society by criminals must be recognised and applauded," Chris Ryan says.

"There is no doubt that the current Government is genuinely committed to waging war on criminals. The beneficiaries of these initiatives will be all New Zealanders and their children."

"The two pronged approach taken by the Ministers of Justice and Police is impressive and shows real leadership from the Government, Chris Ryan said.

"Crime statistics have recently shown a significant fall in burglary and theft rates. However, violent crime rates increased. Today's announcement on the sentencing and parole reform is just another step toward rectifying this situation", he said.

Ends

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