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Labour's Crime Deceit Must Not Go Unpunished

Labour's Crime Deceit Must Not Go Unpunished

Thursday 29 Aug 2002 Dr Muriel Newman Press Releases -- Crime & Justice

Two Labour Ministers who misled the public on crime statistics before the election must be held accountable, ACT Police Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman said today.

"Before the election Police Minister George Hawkins and Justice Phil Goff refused to release the real crime statistics and instead released misleading figures showing crime was declining.

"On July 17, George Hawkins and Phil Goff released a press release titled, "Crime trends down". They told the public that over ten months, crime had fallen in every category except property abuses.

"Mr Hawkins and Mr Goff suppressed the shocking crime statistics that have been released today showing every single category of crime has risen. They deceitfully hid the fact that violence is up by 2%, sexual offences by 13.6%, drugs and anti-social crimes by 1%, dishonesty 3.1%, property damage by 1.7% and administrative crimes by 6.3 percent.

"ACT campaigned for a Zero Tolerance For Crime approach to policing, which Labour rejected as unnecessary. Mr Hawkins and Mr Goff misled the public of New Zealand in order to win an election. Mr Hawkins said crime rates "show a vastly different situation to current Opposition scaremongering". Mr Goff said we were engaged in a "beat up".

"New Zealand families should be able to trust the information Ministers supply. Yet in order to win an election, Labour didn't think twice about misleading the public.

"These figures completely vindicate ACT's focus on crime and justice as election issues. Total crime is up by 2.8% - the first increase in a decade of recorded crime. Violent crime is up by 2% with a 15.5% leap in homicides, and a 14.2% climb in kidnapping and abduction.

"The reversal of the downward trend in crime is extremely worrying. For a decade, the total recorded crime and the level per 100,000 population had been dropping. Both of these measures have increased this year under Labour. Resolution rates have dropped by 2.6% for all crime, - again, after several years of improving. This highlights under-resourcing of our police force.

"Auckland particularly is clearly under-resourced, with criminals having a field day. In Auckland homicide is up 33%, kidnapping and abduction up 29%, robbery up 18%, minor assaults up 21%, sexual offences up 17.5%, and hard drug offences up 25%.

"Labour's tough-talk and credit card promises are now seen to be a fraud. Our streets are increasingly unsafe for New Zealand families. These statistics clearly show that Labour's soft approach to crime is a massive failure," Dr Newman said.

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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