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'Catch & release' puts public at risk

'Catch & release' puts public at risk

Thieves, drink-drivers and some people convicted of sex crimes and assault are among those who will be let out of prison under Labour's new ‘soft on crims' policy, says National's Law & Order spokesman, Simon Power.

"Corrections Minister Damien O'Connor wants to let out of prison offenders sentenced to six months or less under his ‘catch and release' policy, but he has failed to tell the public exactly what that means.

"You don't have to look too far to find examples of the sort of people he will be happy to see out on our streets with hardly any punishment at all.”

• A taxi driver found guilty of indecent assault after touching a female passenger's leg and breast, and who grabbed her when she tried to leave his cab - six months.

• A woman who stole more than $11,000 from a sick woman in her care - six months.
• A man who was convicted of 72 charges of fraud and three of theft - six months.
• A man who was convicted for his sixth drink-driving offence, as well as assault and breaching community work - five months.

• A man who was convicted of six charges of theft, assaulting police, resisting police, and possession of cannabis - three months.

"These are the sorts of people who Damien O'Connor described last week as those ‘who are spending less than six months in jail, that's almost 30% of the inmates, people who are no risk to society.' And under Labour none of them will serve any prison time at all.

"In fact, they are either physical threats or a threat to the public's sense of safety, and all deserve some sort of punitive sentence.

"I would like Helen Clark, Phil Goff, and Damien O'Connor to confirm that they are happy letting these sort of people out on the streets without any real punishment,” says Mr Power.

Ends

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