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Council Commended For Sensible Sentencing Support

Council Commended For Sensible Sentencing Support

Friday 2 Apr 2004 Stephen Franks Press Releases -- Crime & Justice

ACT New Zealand Justice Spokesman Stephen Franks today commended the Napier City Council's resolution to support the Sensible Sentencing Trust policy against parole and organising a public meeting, saying that councils have a legitimate role in countering crime.

"Councils have to meet the costs of attempts to discourage the thugs loose in their streets - with measures like extra lighting, stripping out sheltered dells from parks, cleaning broken glass, and security guard patrols," Mr Franks said.

"In many countries, local authorities can be more effective because they also employ and pay for local police forces. They can set the priorities. Instead of helplessly watching the police spending great chunks of their time investigating accidents, or giving speeding tickets, they can get them chasing deliberate evil-doers.

"I am often sceptical when councils move out of their traditional roles. It has been hard to see practical effect from resolutions such as `nuclear-free'. But, in this case, the Napier City Council is leading where others should follow.

"Our councils have introduced patrols, closed-circuit television and taken other crime reducing steps. But, so far none have publicly challenged Labour's policies - which keep our violent crime figures rising, while US cities have cut serious crime by up to 70 percent.

"I hope this is just the start of a New Zealand-wide move by local authorities," Mr Franks said.

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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