Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Sentencing and Parole Reform Bill Bad for Policing

Sentencing and Parole Reform Bill Bad for Policing

Thursday 31 Jan 2002 Ken Shirley Press Releases -- Justice, Law & Order -- Truth in Sentencing

Nothing does more to erode police morale than soft sentencing and the early release of known habitual criminals," says ACT New Zealand Police Spokesman Ken Shirley.

"The principal role of our police is to identify criminals and bring them to justice. The greatest deterrent for criminals is certainty that they will be speedily caught, convicted and punished.

"Regrettably the Sentencing and Parole Reform Bill omits punishment from the principles that the Courts must follow in sentencing.

"The Bill facilitates early release. We know that early released prisoners have an appalling reoffending rate. These revolving door policies can only further overwhelm already stretched police resources.

"Police statistics show that violent crime increased 8.6 percent for the year ending 30 June 2001. The chances of being mugged, bashed or raped are the highest they have ever been.

"Crimes of dishonesty are also unacceptably high. The New Zealand Insurance Council has this week reported that burglary, vandalism and vehicle-related crimes committed against New Zealanders have resulted in insurance claims of nearly $500 million since 1999. This equates to $20 million per month - which is a cost to us all through higher premium payments.

"Over the past six months alone, we have seen a staggering 50 percent increase in motor vehicle thefts, with a disproportionate share in Auckland.

"Over the past 12 months, private vehicles with a collective value of $60 million were stolen, plus a further $30 million of commercial vehicles. Insurers believe that many high-value, high-performance cars are being stolen to order by organised crime rings.

"Policing in Auckland is in crisis. Burglary victims have an average three-day wait in spite of Police Minister Hawkins pledging a maximum 24-hour response time.

"There are currently 20 CIB vacancies in Auckland, with junior staff handling very serious inquiries alone. The Wellington region is 30 police officers below its quota.

"No community can defeat crime by relying on the police and the authorities alone but the public needs to be confident that the police have the capacity to perform their tasks. If policing loses its integrity, the public becomes cynical, withdraws its support and the criminals win.

"Public discontent and unease with New Zealand Police appears to be rising. Staff shortages, frontline bitterness with work practices and a dysfunctional Police Minister compound the discontent.

"ACT wants to focus greater police effort on criminals, rather than wasting millions of dollars chasing people who are momentarily negligent or careless.

"The culture of political correctness pervading New Zealand society is increasingly frustrating police activity. Communities should be told who the criminals are and where they live. Social disdain and shame should be part and parcel of punishment and hence, deterrence. The Sentencing and Parole Reform Bill is moving us in the wrong direction.

"ACT will ensure police resources are sharply focussed on fighting crime.

"As part of ACT's focussing of police resources on criminal activity, we will continue to oppose police involvement in unnecessary and expensive programmes such as the compulsory registration of all firearms. The scheme, supported by this Government, was originally estimated to cost $20 million whereas we know the Canadian scheme it is modelled on - which was meant to cost $70 million - is likely to end up costing $500 million.

"While road safety is important, George Hawkins has developed an obsession with highway patrol cars and speed cameras. One speed camera in South Dunedin collected $40,000 worth of revenue in one hour late last year.

"Reckless and dangerous driving cannot be condoned but the reduced speed tolerances is all about revenue gathering, not accident prevention.

"The focus of policing in New Zealand must be redirected to apprehending criminals and bringing them to justice."


For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>


With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>


Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>


Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>


More Justice & Corrections

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news