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Labour should listen to police officer

Simon Power National Party Law & Order Spokesman

21 February 2006

Labour should listen to police officer

The Government must sit up and take serious notice when a 20-year police veteran is prepared to put his job on the line to express serious misgivings about open prisons, says National's Law & Order spokesman, Simon Power.

He says comments by the officer on Radio Live today are very concerning.

Officer 'X' said: 'I certainly don't think the answer is simply to say that the jails are overcrowded, let's let them all back into the community. I mean they're there for a reason. They're there because we need to be kept free from them and safe from them.'

"He has hit the nail on the head," says Mr Power. "Labour's 'catch and release' prisons policy is an offenders-centred process. It does nothing for the rights or feelings of victims.

"Throwing the prison doors open to one-third of prisoners, including those convicted of minor sex offences, people who prey on the elderly, fraudsters, drink-drivers, and thieves, is complete stupidity.

"By the Minister's own admission, many of the rehabilitation programmes aren't working, so why would you put criminals back into the community?

"Officer X has come to the same conclusions National has - that Labour's policy is not about victims' rights, or rehabilitating offenders or about public safety - it is all about saving money from a poorly managed blown-out budget."

ENDS

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