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

 


Causes of Crime -- Dr Muriel Newman

Causes of Crime -- Dr Muriel Newman

Thursday 31 Jan 2002 Dr Muriel Newman Press Releases -- Justice, Law & Order

If we are serious about solving our growing crime problem, we need to get to the heart of the causes of crime, expose the real link between welfare and crime, and make welfare reform a national priority. Statistics show that while beneficiaries comprise some 12 percent of the adult population, they comprise more than 50 per cent of the prison population.

In its latest census of prison inmates the Department of Corrections shows that prior to sentencing 73 percent of female inmates and 49 percent of male inmates had been receiving a benefit. Almost half had been on the Domestic Purposes Benefit or the dole.

While there is an obvious need to be cautious about interpreting such data, the fact that people who commit the sort of serious crimes that are punishable by imprisonment are six times more likely to have been on welfare than in work, is significant.

Studies of crime trends show that one in four young New Zealand males get into trouble with the police. Young single men are difficult for a community to control. Yet if young men have jobs and money in their pockets, if they have a wife, children, and a mortgage, they are far less likely to commit crimes than young men with no jobs and no attachments.

Common sense tells us that it is not right to pay fit and able young men to sit on welfare and do nothing in return. Leaving them with little money but lots of time on their hands is dangerous. Lacking the disciplines of work and the rewards of a good job, as well as the responsibilities of family, research shows that such young men are at an increased risk of becoming involved in crime.

Research also shows that family structure has a significant impact on crime. A number of international longitudinal studies have found that children from broken homes were more than twice as likely to have been convicted of serious offences than those from intact homes. Statistics for boys being raised by an unmarried mother are the worst.

The reality is that this Government's soft approach to welfare is making the problem worse. Already long-term benefit dependency has increased by 26 percent since the election, with 56,000 people having been out of work during the whole two-year term of the Government.

New Zealanders want to live in a safer county. But to achieve that goal we must have the courage to address the causes of crime. Other countries have been successful; we can learn from them and we can be successful too.

While the causes of crime are complex, we need to recognise that a welfare system which breaks up the family and creates intergenerational dependency lies at the heart of the problem. That is why ACT is committed to real welfare reform.

Real welfare reform is crucial to reducing crime. It has to be given a top priority if we are to achieve our goal of making New Zealand a safer place to live, to work and to raise our families.

ENDS

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

 

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>>

ALSO:

Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>

ALSO:

Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>

ALSO:

General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news