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Alexander backs Sensible Sentencing call

Alexander backs Sensible Sentencing cross-party call

United Future MP Marc Alexander has welcomed a Sensible Sentencing Trust call for a cross-party criminal justice group, telling Parliament today that it was an idea whose "time had come".

"The fact is that Labour voters are victims of crime, National voters are victims of crime, NZ First voters are victims of crime. It knows no political boundaries, and they have had enough of living in an unsafe society," Mr Alexander said.

The Christchurch-based MP said he would welcome the opportunity to work with MPs from other parties, particularly if it would help end the political game of throwing figures back and forth - a game that is of no value to victims of crime and their families.

"Figures are forever being thrown around this House that get us no closer to a semblance of truth," he said.

But there were, he said, damning statistics that MPs must come together to fight:

Between 1991 and 2000, aggravated robberies were up by 53 percent; serious assaults by 129 percent, threatening to kill or do grievous bodily harm, 135 percent, grievous assault by 91 percent, assault on a female by 80 percent, assaulting a child by 85 percent and wilful damage or property damage by 42 percent.

"We have to accept that we have a culture of violence and we have to do something about it." Mr Alexander said.

"Every person in this country has a right to expect that the people they care about and love will come home at the end of the day, and we're doing very little about it.

"It is an all-out war. We talk about Iraq, we talk about terrorism, but we have this in our country every day," he said. Ends.

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