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Police Better Prove Their Case

Police Better Prove Their Case

Wednesday 30 Oct 2002 Stephen Franks Press Releases -- Crime & Justice -- Zero Tolerance for Crime

ACT Justice Spokesman Stephen Franks tonight responded to reports that Kawakawa farmer Paul McIntyre will face charges for shooting intruders on his property.

"As Mr McIntyre is now charged, we should wait for the decision of the court. As a politician I must not prejudge the evidence.

"But if he is acquitted and it turns out that outcome should have been expected from the start in this special type of case, the state should ensure he is not out of pocket.

"When a state has failed in its duty and a citizen faces a terrible predicament as a result, the state doubles the injustice if it leaves the costs with the citizen.

"Patently the state can no longer defend rural people. It is not defending rural property. It is not punishing rural predators. It is not punishing any predators to the point where they think the risks of being caught make it not worth the crime.

"Rural police give realistic but "off the record" advice to farmers. They have to. They are trying to make up for loopy law and judges who no longer judge right and wrong, or properly punish wrong.

So in this trial, the state too will be judged. It will have a heavy onus to show why charging Mr McIntyre serves justice. If the state cannot show that, people will instead see the law on the wrong side. In the end, the real message would be that formerly self-reliant New Zealanders must wait trembling for the state to protect them even when they need not be helpless and can take what every commonsense person would see as reasonable steps to protect themselves and their community," Mr Franks said.

ENDS

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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