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National’s Law and Order policy

Safer Communities, Safer Society - National’s Law and Order policy

Executive Summary

New Zealanders have a right to be safe in their houses, streets and communities. National will ensure the worst offenders are not able to re-offend due to early release. We will ensure that non-violent offenders will make proper reparation to their victims. Our goal is to ensure that criminals get the message that crime does not pay.

National’s Approach


Part 1 Certainty of Sentences


National will:

Ensure life will mean life for the worst murderers and increase the minimum non-parole period for all other murders from 10 years to 15 years.
Ensure there is no automatic parole for violent offenders and violent offenders will not be eligible for parole before 66% of their sentence and parole will only be given to offenders who have proved they have reformed and have a planned return to a law-abiding life in the community
Non-violent offenders will be ineligible to apply for parole before 50% of their sentence.
Increase home detention for non-violent offenders to ensure that they can pay reparation to victims.
Appoint a victims representative to the Parole Board and panels.
Part 2 Reforming the Criminal Law

National will:

Confiscate drug dealers’ assets by reversing the onus of proof so that convicted drug dealers will have to prove they legitimately acquired the property or they will lose it.
Reduce the possession for supply thresholds for dealing in methamphetamine.
Ensure the full range of E-crime is covered by the law.
Introduction

National is determined to ensure that New Zealanders live in a safe society. That means effective criminal and sentencing law that keeps the worst offenders off the streets. We will show New Zealanders we have listened to the Withers’ Referendum by increasing sentences for serious crime, making sure that prisoners are not being released early to simply go out and offend again.

We will ensure that serious violent offenders do not get early parole, and will ensure that the worst murderers get life without parole.

National knows that criminal gangs are profiting from crime. We will attack their funds and break the gang cycle.

Problem

In 1999 the Withers’ Referendum received 92% support for tough action against violent criminals. Instead, under Labour and the Alliance, violent crime has soared and serious youth crime is steadily increasing. The Government’s Sentencing and Parole Reform Bill has completely failed to meet the expectation of the public that there will be tougher penalties for violent crime. Labour and the Alliance have actually made parole easier to get for violent criminals. All offenders, including violent offenders, are now eligible to apply for parole at one-third of their sentence, which is half of the current law. It is not surprising that Labour’s policies are seen as a betrayal of public expectations.

Part 1 Certainty of Sentences


In 1999, 92% of New Zealanders supported tougher sentences for serious crimes. The Government’s changes to the sentencing laws do not meet the reasonable expectations of those New Zealanders. National will ensure that the most serious criminals will receive tougher sentences.

The worst murderers will receive life without parole. The offenders include those who kill multiple victims, who have previous convictions for violence, and those who kill the most vulnerable. Their actions and the risk they pose are so great they should not be released back into society. The standard minimum non-parole period for murder is too short at 10 years. When a life is taken, the perpetrator should spend at least 15 years in jail.

National will ensure that violent offenders will serve a proper sentence. Violent offenders will not get automatic parole. We will ensure that at least 66% of the sentence will be served, to send a clear message that violent criminals will be kept out of society. This is a doubling of Labour’s parole eligibility policy. We are toughening the sentence for crimes against children to reflect their vulnerability and the absolute obligation of our community to protect our children. We will guarantee that sentences for offences against children will be at least as tough as those for offences against adults.

National wants greater reparations for victims, and will increase home detention to enable non-violent offenders to earn income for reparations. We will reintroduce suspended sentences to help offenders to break the criminal cycle.

We will ensure that judges retain control of community sentences, rather than letting bureaucrats decide the type of community sentence to be served.

National will give victims a greater say in the justice system. Victims need to be able to express their views on the appropriate sentence in the victim impact report. A representative of victims will be appointed to the Parole Board.

National will:

Ensure life will mean life for the worst murderers and increase the minimum non-parole period for all other murders from 10 years to 15 years.
Ensure there is no automatic parole for violent offenders and violent offenders will not be eligible for parole before 66% of their sentence and parole will only be given to offenders who have proved they have reformed and have a planned return to a law-abiding life in the community
Non-violent offenders will be ineligible to apply for parole before 50% of their sentence.
Increase home detention for non-violent offenders to ensure that they can pay reparation to victims.
Appoint a victims representative to the Parole Board and panels.
Part 2 Reforming the Criminal Law

New Zealanders must have confidence that our criminal law fully meets the need for a safe society. National is determined to break the gang cycle by confiscating the profits of drug dealing, now the mainstay of the gangs.
The Misuse of Drugs Act must be amended to ensure that dealers in large quantities of methamphetamine are covered by the law.
We will ensure that the law is amended to deal with emerging E-crime and drug dealing.
National will:

Confiscate drug dealers’ assets by reversing the onus of proof so that convicted drug dealers will have to prove they legitimately acquired the property or they will lose it.
Reduce the possession for supply thresholds for dealing in methamphetamine.
Ensure the full range of E-crime is covered by the law.

ENDS

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