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It's Official: You're Less Safe from Violent Crime

It's Official: You are Less Safe from Violent Crime

ACT Police Spokesman Ken Shirley says new crime figures out today show that the chances of being a victim of a violent crime in New Zealand are now the highest they have ever been.

"The 5.9 percent increase in violent offending for the 2001 calendar year comes on top of an 8.5 percent increase in the year to June 2001. We are all less safe walking the streets. Our chances of being mugged, bashed or raped are increasing.

"The increase in harder drugs offences is also of concern. We seem to be moving towards a meaner more violent society.

"The rise in this serious crime comes at a time when Police are struggling to have adequate numbers on the beat and are experiencing huge problems recruiting.

"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.

"The sharp rise in violent crime to historically high levels simply again highlights the failure of offender-based justice policies. Regrettably the Sentencing and Parole Reform Bill currently before Parliament reinforces this mistake. The 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.

The Government is moving in entirely the wrong direction on crime and justice.

"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," Ken Shirley said.


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