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National will deliver tough action on crime

Bill English National Party Leader

28 May 2002

National will deliver tough action on crime

It is time to crack down on violent crime with tougher sentences and more police, so New Zealanders can feel safe in their homes and in their communities, says National Leader Bill English.

"The Withers' referendum received an overwhelming 92% support for tough action against violent criminals, yet all Labour has delivered is disgraceful legislation which will put many serious violent offenders, like rapists, robbers and muggers, out on the streets earlier.

"In the last two years, the violent crime rate has soared to record highs. Whatever the reasons for it, the community is looking for leadership on this difficult issue.

"We want people to feel safe in their communities, but first we need effective criminal and sentencing laws. National will lock up the worst murderers for life, and we will ensure that serious violent offenders don't get early parole. The standard minimum non-parole period for murder will increase from 10 to 15 years.

"National will ensure that violent criminals serve the time that fits the crime.

"Police staffing levels are in crisis around the country and criminals know there's a good chance they won't be caught.

"National will put 500 extra frontline police on the beat over three years to target violence on the street and in the home as a top priority. Criminals fear most being caught and being imprisoned - so more police on the beat will lead to more prevention and less crime," says Bill English.

A crack down on drug-dealers and gangs involved in the methamphetamine industry, an expansion of court ordered DNA testing and a review of the Crimes Act also form part of National's Law and Order and Police policies.

"New Zealanders were promised action on law and order and it is being left to National to deliver it. There is no point striving for a strong economy or firm ambitions for your country, if people can't feel safe in their community," says Mr English.

Ends

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