Law & Order latest target for Brash in speech
Don Brash MP
National Party Leader
14 May 2006
Law & Order latest target for Brash in speech circuit
National Party Leader Don Brash has brought fresh focus to one of the major planks of National’s election campaign last year during a speech at the Party’s Lower North Island Regional Conference in Palmerston North today.
He has described law and order as “another area of crisis and failure”.
“Despite a slow but steady decrease in overall crime figures – for which the police are certainly to be applauded - New Zealand today is not a safer or better place to live.
“Last year, violent crime went up by 7%. Within that figure, grievous assaults were up 13%, homicides up 27%, intimidation and threats up 11%, robberies up 12% and serious assaults up 7%. Overall, violent crime has increased 16% since 2000. That is not a record to be proud of.
“Police are certainly recruiting more staff but more are leaving. A recent Police Human Resources Scorecard reveals that in the year to April, the Police gained 509 sworn staff but lost 379 – a net increase of only 130.
“The Police Association estimates that 2,500 additional police recruits will be required to meet the target of an extra 1,000 police on duty over the next two and a half years. Labour is not going to deliver, and that is not a good result for New Zealanders.”
Dr Brash also targeted Labour’s plan to throw open the prison doors.
“My fear is that the cost blowouts are behind Damien O’Connor’s plan to release a third of prisoners – plans which emerged after he spent just two hours in a Finnish prison! It must have truly been a ‘Road to Helsinki’ conversion. But it is still wrong. “
Meanwhile, Dr Brash says the victims of crime are being forgotten.
“National has obtained figures showing that in 2004/05, 97% of reparations owed were overdue or being drip-fed to the victim and that is outrageous. The victims are hit twice – once at the hands of the criminals and then again when the legal reparation is not paid. This causes considerable hardship and distress.
“This is not the system that we want. National supports a justice system that provides more support for victims. We want this society to feel safer and to be safer for all New Zealanders,” Dr Brash says.