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Budget 2000 – Budget Delivers Burglary Crackdown

Burglary is the focus of a major new law and order strategy announced today by Justice Minister Phil Goff and Minister of Police George Hawkins.

The ministers spoke today at Henderson Police Station, site of a new dedicated anti-burglary team to be provided for by the Budget.

"Burglary can not simply be considered a crime against property. It is a crime against people. It is time that we began to treat burglary as the serious crime that it is," Mr Goff and Mr Hawkins said.

"The burglary strategy includes changes in police practice, tougher laws for burglars and people trading in stolen goods, and Budget support for anti-burglary measures."

Police will receive additional funding of $4.189 million in 2000/01, $4.484 million in 2001/02 and $4.547 million in 2002/03 and out-years for preventing burglary and repeat burglary.

The funding will be used to enhance Police intelligence by two sites in 2000/01 and a further site in 2001/02, and to increase the number of LETs [Law Enforcement Teams] from eight to 11. The three additional LET teams will be located at Auckland City, North Shore/Waitakere, and Counties/Manukau Police districts.

"The Government has already taken steps to ensure that burglary is treated as a serious crime. The contract with Police now requires all burglaries to be responded to within 24 hours," George Hawkins said.

"The new money will support the strong legislative programme that will make it tougher for burglars to go about their criminal business," Phil Goff said.

"This legislation has started with the Government's amendments to the Bail Bill to make it tougher for repeat burglars to get bail. Before the end of the year I will finalise a new Second-Hand Dealers' and Pawnbrokers Bill to make it harder for burglars to sell stolen goods.

"The current law is hopelessly outdated and the procedures and penalties provide no deterrence to dishonest dealers or protection for honest dealers," Mr Goff said.

"The Government will also be introducing amendments to DNA law to enhance the value of this law to Police in combating burglary. Additional funding of $902,000 over the next three years will provided in the Police Budget for this purpose," George Hawkins said.

The Budget will also deliver $960,000 over three years for ‘target-hardening' – measures aimed at preventing repeat victimisation through assisting burglary victims with basic security precautions. The total value of the Budget measures in support of the anti-burglary package will be $14.117 million over the next three years.

"This represents a firm commitment towards building safe communities," the Ministers concluded.

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