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UF: Brat camps, more cops and parole

UF: Brat camps, more cops and parole ADDED to sentences

‘Brat camps’ for teen offenders, more cops on the beat and parole at the end of prison sentences, not part way through, are key elements of United Future’s law and order policy, launched by its spokesman, Marc Alexander, in Auckland today.

In launching the 147-point policy covering safer communities, early intervention, victim support, tougher sentences, co-ordinated justice responses, drugs and the law and road safety, Mr Alexander said United Future offered voters the “most comprehensive and innovative law and order policy of any party by the proverbial country mile”.

“And there is a reason for that: United Future is the family party and families can only thrive a safe community environment. Our policy is about putting victims first, being tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime,” he told a Sensible Sentencing Trust meeting in Panmure.

“Brat camps. Okay, it’s not a pretty name and there’s nothing PC about it. But I make no apologies for that. Teen crime is neither pretty nor PC. But we have to deal with it as a society far better and more effectively than we are doing today.

“Basically this would be ‘boot camp run by the Army, in co-operation with the Education and Health ministries and the aim would be to instil the self-discipline, education, training and counselling that will divert these teens away from the prison life that they are on track for today,” he said.

“This is just one aspect of a multi-pronged approach to early intervention that starts far earlier with some very positive interventions in terms of parenting programmes and character education in schools. Law and order is complex and we treat it that way. There are no simple answers.”

More police on the beat will be a priority made achievable in the context of raising police numbers to 10,000.

“Currently we have one of the worst police to citizens ratios in the developed world at one for every 561 people. With 10,000 sworn police officers - we’re not talking backroom civilian staff here - we would have a ratio of one for every 406 - better than Australia,” he said.

At the corrections end of law and order, he said United Future would add parole on to the end of prison sentences.

“Right now, it’s essentially a discount on your prison sentence, and some parties are calling for no parole at all. That’s wrong-headed and self-defeating if you’re serious about fighting crime.

“United Future says ‘yes, prisoners will serve their full sentences’, and then when they get out, a substantial parole period begins whereby if they offend against society again, they can be hauled back in,” Mr Alexander said.


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