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Alexander: Make ministries unite for law and order

Thursday, 14 July 2005

Alexander: Make ministries unite for law and order

United Future would establish a National Crime Team made up of the Justice, Police, Corrections and Associate Justice Ministers to co-ordinate the Government response to law and order, United Future's Marc Alexander announced today ahead of the party's full law and order policy launch in Auckland on Sunday.

"At present, there is a little or no co-ordination and far too often, competing interests - and the result of that is very simple: a piecemeal and often inadequate approach to law and order from which the people suffer," Mr Alexander said.

He said law and order was "a complex beast at the best of times" and quite unlike most other port folios in requiring a strongly integrated approach.

"A National Crime Team is the first change we need to see, with the Associate Justice Ministers on board with specific briefs to represent the court system and victims' rights," he said.

Mr Alexander said United Future's policy would be based on three key principles: being tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime and putting victims first.

"What that means in practice is where the current ministries of Police, Courts, Justice and Corrections compete against each other strategically, and for a slice of the Budget each year, under our policy they will be made to actually work together for a common goal.

"The current system simply makes them insular and is all about patch-protection. That needs to change with more of a 'big picture' approach.

Mr Alexander said he couldn't emphasise strongly enough the need for an Associate Justice Minister to be assigned an advocacy role for victims.

"The Government is forever talking about putting victims first, but it tends to be all talk. We want a Minister who can cross port folios on behalf of victims to ensure their interests are taken care of in any and all relevant legislation," he said.

ENDS

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