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Labour losing fight against 'P'

Simon Power National Party Law & Order Spokesman

23 February 2006

Labour losing fight against 'P'

It is time Labour acknowledged that it does not have the policies or the resources in place to mount an adequate fight against the drug 'P', says National's Law & Order spokesman, Simon Power.

He is commenting on the police hunt for a Chinese couple who fled bail after appearing in court on charges involving the importation of enough drugs to make methamphetamine worth about $15 million.

"This is outrageous. This is the second time in two weeks that a couple has fled while on bail for serious charges involving 'P'. It is too easy to get bail in this country.

"This is exactly the sort of thing 'Officer X' told Radio Live this week when he talked about people on bail re-offending."

He said: 'It's very, very, very frustrating. You know, so many criminals now know they're not going to be held in custody while they're on bail, and it's so frustrating for us as cops to fight bail, oppose bail, and then see the courts let them go and re-offend. It doesn't help to tell a victim, well, you know, I told them that would happen. For the next victim that gets dealt with it's just not on.'

Mr Power says: "What message does this send to the victims of crime?

"And how does Helen Clark reconcile this 'soft on crime' approach with the stance of Justice Minister Phil Goff before the election, when he claimed Labour was 'tough on crime and the causes of crime'.

"Just today, the Minister responsible for the Government's drug strategy said 'the emphasis at the moment is on the suppliers, manufacturers and importers, i.e penalise them harshly.'

"It is obvious that is not happening," says Mr Power. "It will take more than empty words from this Government to tackle this scourge.

"We have to get tougher on people who deal in this drug. To do that we have to have laws that signal to judges just how serious we are.

"People suspected of involvement in this filthy industry should never get bail. And this should apply especially to foreign nationals who should automatically be considered to be flight risks."

ENDS

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