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Government Soft On Fight Against Crime

The wiping of $80 million in court fines is further proof that the Government's Sentencing and Parole Reform Bill is on the wrong track in the fight against crime, says National's Justice spokesperson, Wayne Mapp.

Papers released today by Dr Mapp on the Sentencing and Parole Reform Bill show a heavy emphasis is placed on fines as punishment for criminal offences.

"The Bill calls for 'a stronger presumption in favour of fines' yet millions of dollars in fines are being wiped by the courts simply because the criminals who owe them can't afford to pay them," says Dr Mapp.

"This just proves what a soft option this Government is taking. Criminals don't have to pay and they don't have to go to jail. It's little more than a board game.

"Fines should only be wiped when it is demonstrated that a person is reformed. They should not be used as some sort of perverse reward for further offending.

"The Government simply does not understand how to fight crime in this country. Rather than making sure that the punishment fits the crime, it's slapping fines on people, and then letting them off scot-free," says Dr Mapp.


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