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Praise, Not Prosecute, Knife Defender -


Praise, Not Prosecute, Knife Defender

Monday 27 Jan 2003
Stephen Franks
Press Releases -- Crime & Justice

It is outrageous that police are even considering charging the Rotorua teenager who stabbed her ex-boyfriend as he kidnapped and assaulted her, ACT Justice Spokesman Stephen Franks said today.

"Police are reported as saying that if people `fear someone, they should call the police'. Will police be at the victim's home in the minutes it takes an attacker to break in? Will they have a policeman sleep over?" said Mr Franks.

"This girl did not set out deliberately to attack someone. Police have said she began sleeping with the knife under her pillow after receiving threats. Instead of debating whether to charge this young girl, police should praise her for defending herself.

"She was in her family home. Her family could not protect her. Even had she informed police, would they have been able to protect her?

"Clearly, police have neither the manpower nor the resources to protect us all if we won't defend ourselves. Only a totalitarian state could pretend to reserve all effective protocol for state functionaries.

A state which fails this girl in its duty to protect her has no right to tell her, or anyone, that they must not defend themselves. Criminals are no longer afraid of the law. Pathetic youth justice processes tell them they can ignore the consequences of their viciousness

"To charge her for defending herself, against an abductor who was severely assaulting her, would be to fail her twice. This young girl should be getting a medal, not punished for showing those who would commit crimes that there are repercussions - and not all of them Government-softened," said Mr Franks.

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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