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Make List Vote A Referendum On Crime

ACT Urges Voters To Make List Vote A Referendum On Crime

Friday 10 May 2002

The ACT Party is calling on voters to make the list vote a referendum on violent crime.

ACT leader Richard Prebble, at a public meeting on crime and justice at the Wings Conference Centre, Hobsonville, said violent crime in West Auckland has risen 27.7 percent since the last election, according to police statistics.

"The latest figures were released on December 31, and every indication is that violent crime is continuing to increase, so it is almost certainly up by more than one-third since the election," Mr Prebble said.

"The increase in West Auckland's violent crime is nearly twice the national average. Just this week a 19-year-old woman was strangled in Henderson while she was out for a walk in the middle of the afternoon. Property crime in West Auckland has also shown a dramatic increase - well above the national average.

"ACT is determined to make law and order an election issue. At the last election, 92 percent of voters said they wanted tougher sentences and hard labour for violent criminals.

"Today the Corrections Minister, Matt Robson, has just announced further privileges for Maori offenders, including the right for a kaumatua to be treated within prison with the same status as a Cabinet Minister - in other words, kaumatua can ignore visiting hours and need no prior approval from the prison before disrupting the jail to exercise their `ministerial' privileges.

"Previous relaxations of the prison regime, such as allowing prisoners to have colour TV, have not resulted in any reduction in recidivism - and nor will these new privileges, except to cause resentment among non-Maori prisoners.

"ACT is campaigning against clause 240 of the Sentencing and Parole Reform Bill which reduces most violent offenders' time in jail by 50 percent.

"ACT will be saying to the electorate: `make the list vote a referendum on violent crime that no government can ignore'," Mr Prebble said.

ENDS

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