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Crime Policy Means More Than Just Police Numbers

Good Crime Policy Means More Than Just Police Numbers

Friday 30 May 2003 Richard Prebble Press Releases -- Crime & Justice

NZ First is right to express concern about the rising levels of crime, ACT New Zealand Leader Richard Prebble said today.

"They are also right to raise the question as to whether police numbers are adequate. However, it is regrettable that the rigorous intellectual work required for good policy is not being done.

"A doubling of police numbers means 7,000 more police, which would give New Zealand one of the highest police-citizen ratios in the world.

"It is correct that New Zealand has the lowest ratio of police to population in Australasia and the worst level of crime. That is a justification for increasing policing, but not doubling. A doubling of police would give New Zealand a `police state' level of policing.

"As a former Minister of Police, I am aware that no senior, experienced policeman would seriously argue for 7,000 more police. The police have a lot of other priorities apart from just more people. One thing the police want is when they catch an offender and the courts send that criminal to jail, that he stayed there for his whole sentence.

"New Zealand First's release would have more credibility if they had tackled some of the immediate causes of crime. Police have to re-arrest offenders who have previously been arrested, convicted and sent to prison, because Labour has let them out early. Labour's policy of early release of offenders is a spectacular failure and over 70 percent of such offenders re-offend.

"Combatting crime requires a total change of policy ,not just more police numbers. ACT New Zealand strongly advocates a Zero Tolerance approach to crime, which has been so spectacularly successful in New York. The Labour Government is prepared to have zero tolerance for speeding, because that has brought them in more revenue, but doesn't have the same attitude toward violence crime, burglary and other offences," Mr Prebble 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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