Parliament

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

 

Zero Tolerance for Crime -- Richard Prebble

Extract of a speech by ACT Leader Richard Prebble

to a public meeting organised by the ACT Party and the Sensible Sentencing Trust

at Le Grande Hotel, 237 Victoria Street, Hamilton,

on Wednesday 29 May 2002, at 5pm

Sensible Sentencing and the ACT Party are holding a series of joint public meetings to protest the Labour government's ignoring of Norm Withers' referendum, in which 92 percent of voters asked for tougher sentences for violent offenders.

In Labour's new Sentencing and Parole Acts:

- the minimum sentence for murder has been abolished

- violent criminals are now eligible for early release after serving just one-third of their sentence

- a violent home invasion offender, sentenced to eight years jail, can be out in two years, eight months.

The National Party yesterday announced a new law and order policy that will not work. National proposes to go back to its old law where violent offenders were eligible for automatic parole after two-thirds of their sentence. So a rapist sentenced to nine years would be released in six years.

Norm Withers' mother was violently attacked by an offender released under National's two-thirds law.

National criticises Labour for ignoring the Withers referendum, but forgets the referendum was against National's early-release law that the party says it wants to return to.

The Justice Department last week released new research that shows the early-release policies of both old parties don't work. The report finds: "More than a third (37%) of inmates were reconvicted of some offence within six months of release, while more than half (58%) were reconvicted within a year. Nearly three-quarters (73%) of inmates were reconvicted within two years of their release. Most inmates (86%) were reconvicted within five years".

The report also says: "In general, inmates released after serving shorter prison sentences were more likely to be both reconvicted and reimprisoned than inmates released after serving longer prison sentences". (You can read the report at www.act.org.nz/justicereport (www.act.org.nz/justicereport) .)

Early release is the rehabilitation policy that has failed. What we need is Truth in Sentencing, where offenders serve their full court-imposed sentence.

ACT is also sceptical of National's promise to increase police numbers by 500. Such promises are not credible. It is true that police numbers in the Waikato are down, while violent crime has increased. It is also correct that New Zealand has a lower ratio of police to population than any state in Australia - and you are more likely to be the victim of a violent crime in New Zealand than the United States.

But National has given no analysis to justify the figure of 500 extra police. Why not 400 or 600?

What we need is a new approach to policing - the New York approach of Zero Tolerance for Crime, that targets minor street offending. This has spectacularly lowered violent crime, including murder, by 30 percent in New York.

Zero Tolerance for Crime works because it targets first-level offenders, and directs young offenders away from a life of crime. In contrast, the soft approach taken by successive New Zealand governments - which includes wiping $80 million worth of fines, and family group conferences - has seen 90 percent repeat-offending by young offenders.

Zero Tolerance for Crime does require more police, especially community constables. ACT says safety is the number one priority. ACT will fund whatever number of police is required. If it is not 500 but an extra 800, so be it. Less than 2 percent of government spending goes on police.

ACT is going to make personal safety the number one issue in this year's election.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Joseph Cederwall: Building a Community Newsroom

The “Scoop 3.0” Transition Plan
There is good reason to believe that a new path and a better future is possible for Scoop in 2019 as a pioneering independent Media company. A combination of new technology, ideas, institutions and business models and a renewed energy and commitment by the Scoop team, means Scoop aims to be at the forefront of the development of this renaissance that we term ‘News 3.0’.

By opening up Scoop’s structure to community ownership and exploring decentralised technology through the blockchain we can ensure the public has a stake in this enterprise and a say in its development. More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On Jami-Lee Ross (And The New Hobbit Law)

Clearly, Jami-Lee Ross is not waging a normal form of political warfare, with agreed rules of combat and rational cost/benefit calculations.

This is politics-as-terrorism where everything is being sacrificed by the man in the bomb vest in order to remove Simon Bridges as the leader of the National Party. More>>

Text Messages Released: National On $100,000 Donation(s)
The Botany Electorate of the National Party received 8 donations, and Mr Ross declared 8 donations to us. More>>

ALSO:

Film Industry Working Group:

Three Killed: DOC Supporting Family, Colleagues After Helicopter Crash

The Department of Conservation (DOC) is rallying around family and colleagues of the staff who died in a helicopter crash this morning in Wanaka... The helicopter, with two DOC staff on board, was on its way to undertake tahr control in the Haast area when it crashed. More>>

ALSO:

Political Donations: Greens Call For Tighter Anonymity Rules And Public Funding

“It is clear that those vested interests have a tangible influence on the decision making of political parties. This is a threat to democracy and should change.” More>>

ALSO:

Education Amendment Bill Passes: Urgency Sought For Partnership School Treaty Claim

The claim takes issue with the acts and omissions of the Crown in respect of the closure of Partnership Schools | Kura Hourua. More>>

ALSO:

Salvation Army Paper: Call For Public Housing Investment

To meet these future demands the report suggests the government needs to look beyond the private rental market and begin to invest heavily into home-ownership programmes and more public and social housing. More>>

ALSO:

Cull: Himalayan Tahr Control Operation Proceeding

“The target of controlling 10,000 Himalayan tahr over the next eight months remains. The revised plan provides for a staged control operation with increased reporting to the Tahr Liaison Group...” More>>

ALSO:

Health: Petitions To Fund Breast Cancer Drugs

Women marching to Parliament today, to present two petitions calling for Government funding of vital medicines, have 100% support from a coalition representing than 30 breast cancer organisations. More>>

ALSO:

Animal Welfare Advisory Committee: Report On Rodeo Practices Released

The independent committee that advises the Minister responsible for Animal Welfare, has today released a report on animal welfare in rodeos, together with advice to the Minister making recommendations to improve the welfare of the animals in rodeos. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels