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Name and Shame The Worst As Well

Name and Shame The Worst As Well

Friday 15 Aug 2003 Stephen Franks Press Releases -- Crime & Justice

If the Labour Government has no compunction about allowing the Courts Department to `name and shame' major fine defaulters, why will it not let the public know the names and records of more serious criminals, ACT New Zealand Justice Spokesman Stephen Franks said today.

"ACT supports the Courts' `name and shame' campaign. After success in a South Island trial, it is now to start in Auckland and Northland. If it works with fines, why not extend it to offenders who commit more serious crimes?" Mr Franks said.

"If you don't pay your fine expect to be named. Expect also any loss of reputation. This should apply to all criminals - if you commit a crime, you should be ashamed. That is part of the penalty in any healthy society. Concern about reputation - your own and your family's - is a normal reason for avoiding crime.

Courts Minister Rick Barker, who is trumpeting the new name and shame campaign, is part of the same Government that is busy extending name suppression, and slams the door on anyone trying to find out about parole offending - even sentences delivered in open court - if you happen not to have been at the court when the sentence was given.

"Justice Minister Phil Goff's Clean Slate Bill puts criminals' rights to privacy, and not being embarrassed, ahead of their victims' right to know that justice was done, and ahead of the fresh victims who will be victims because they aren't allowed to know the person they are about to trust is a criminal. Victims will be punished if they try to get a criminal to tell about his criminal record.

"Yesterday's crime statistics have revealed that crime continues to spiral out of control. Labour won't even say how much the sentences our most notorious criminals have had forgiven under parole.

"Mr Barker might have had more credibility if he were abolishing name suppression for all, and restoring the open justice we had only one generation ago. Then re-offending rates were a fraction of what they were today, and we all felt safer in our homes," 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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