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Violent crime keeps skyrocketing

Hon Tony Ryall
National Law and Order Spokesperson

8 March 2004

Violent crime keeps skyrocketing

National's Police spokesman, Tony Ryall, says latest crime figures show the massive impact gangs are having on street crime and serious drugs.

"These statistics are appalling. This is the fourth year in a row of a rise in serious violence," says Mr Ryall.

"Violent crime is up 1.5%, with grievous assaults up 6.1%, and serious assaults up 3.3%. So much for Labour's hollow promise of getting on top of crime and the causes of crime.

"The large increase in drug and anti-social offences, group assemblies, intimidation and threats, and kidnapping and abduction are all the work of gangs. Until the Police are equipped to smash these drug-dealing gangs then the violence will continue unabated.

"The increase in 'P' and other drugs is so high that a new category has been created. Total non-cannabis drug offences are therefore up 24.8%, and up 116% since 1999.

"Crime is more random and more violent, and the Government has no answer. Since Labour came in, violent crime has risen 14.9%. New Zealanders do not believe the Prime Minister when she says we live in a safer society.

"Household burglaries are up 2%, the first major increase in seven years. This is despite Labour promising on their 1999 pledge card to "crack down on burglary and youth crime."

"The only reason the Government can claim a slight reduction in recorded offences is because people have given up reporting low-level offences.

"Under this Government, the chances of getting mugged or threatened are higher than they have ever been. With the relentless rise in violent crime, the streets in many parts of this country are just not safe.

"National wants a stronger police presence on the streets, instead of on the traffic highways. And there has to be a co-ordinated crackdown on the hotbed of violence - gangs and the supply of methamphetamine. The first thing the Government should do is change the Proceeds of Crimes Act so that drug dealing gangs must prove their assets are legitimate, or else have them confiscated," says Mr Ryall.

Ends

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