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Govt needs balanced approach to crime

Tony Ryall

National's Justice Spokesman

11 June 2000

Govt needs balanced approach to crime

The Government's new accent on a greater role for victims in the justice system is welcomed but needs to be balanced with a tougher approach to serious crime, says National's Justice spokesman Tony Ryall.

Mr Ryall was commenting on the Government's restorative justice package announced today.

"National supports the extension of community based restorative justice programmes. The existing programmes in Timaru and Waitakere were started under National. These programmes are working very well and have good community support. We will be looking for more detail on the court-referred restorative justice projects for serious offenders.

"Restorative justice has a role to play in our justice system but it is not the be all and end all. 92% of New Zealanders voted for a justice system that deals more seriously with offenders and we are still waiting for the Government to do that.

"This announcement gives mixed messages to victims. It comes only 48 hours after Mr Robson said he was considering offering home detention to serious offenders including rapists.

"Today's announcement will ring hollow for many New Zealanders who want to see a tougher approach to crime from the Labour-Alliance Government," Mr Ryall said.


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