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Labour’s “Get Tough” Policy Is A Joke

Media Release

18 December 2002

Labour’s “Get Tough” Policy Is A Joke

Labour’s so-called “get tough” sentencing policy has again been shown to be a joke with a Christchurch teenager laughing at the court, said New Zealand First’s law and order spokesperson Ron Mark.

“The embarrassing outcome of a 16-year-old appearing on 50 court charges during one of the Youth Court’s busiest days ever provides the clearest indication that Labour’s Sentencing Act is a dismal failure,” said Mr Mark.

“The extent of this youth’s offending is already massive and there is absolutely nothing available to the courts to stop him,” said Mr Mark. “The Sentencing Act removed any teeth the courts may have had in tackling the disturbing and growing problem of youth crime.”

Mr Mark said the age of criminal responsibility should be reduced from 16 years to 13 years.

“Young people appearing in courts today are not baby-faced innocents. They are criminally mature and savvy offenders who laugh about their ability to foil the police, the courts and the community.“

He said New Zealand First supported a “three strikes and you’re out” policy to eliminate career criminals taking advantage of a system that offered unlimited chances.

“Under New Zealand First’s sentencing policy, that ‘one-man crime wave’ would have been held accountable for his actions 78 charges ago and he would not have gone on to cause destruction worth more than $27,000,” said Mr Mark.


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