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Report shows law and order policy is failing

Simon Power MP
National Party Law & Order Spokesman

14 July 2006

Report shows law and order policy is failing

A confidential Treasury report obtained by National Law and Order spokesman Simon Power reveals that crime is costing the country $9.1 billion a year, and that Labour’s strategy to reduce crime is woefully inadequate.

“The Treasury report makes the point that the most costly crimes are against the person, such as violent and sexual offences and robbery, which contribute to almost half of the total cost of crime.

“And it is precisely these types of violent crimes that have increased under Labour.”

According to the most recent crime statistics, violent crime rose 6.9% last year - the biggest rise in any single year since 2000 - and has now risen by 16% in total since 2000.

“But if you are to believe Labour, the biggest challenge facing the law and order portfolio is that we have too many prison inmates,” says Mr Power.

Labour is currently looking at ways to reduce the number of prisoners by softening the sentences that apply to them, using methods like electronic monitoring for remand prisoners who would otherwise be in jail.

“Unlike Labour, National will not accept a lower standard of public safety, just because it’s ‘embarrassed’, to use the Corrections Minister’s own words.

“Cutting crime and the reducing the costs to victims should be the focus, not the number of prisoners.”

Of course, the best way to reduce the number of prisoners is to cut crime, but the Treasury report also reveals that Labour’s Crime Reduction Strategy is a failure.

“The report states that the strategy appears to have no over-arching goal, is not linked to justice sector spending, and that there is limited measurement of outcomes. The review of the effectiveness of interventions is ‘less than ideal’, and there is unclear accountability for implementing the strategy.

“What I find particularly disturbing is that the Crime Reduction Strategy has ‘no particular focus on stopping inter-generational crime or consideration of the role of early interventions in areas such as education, health, income support and housing’.

“What good is a crime reduction strategy that does not address the factors that might actually reduce crime?

“Yet again, Labour has spent its time in government pumping out ‘strategy documents’ which have no bearing on reality,” says Mr Power.

ENDS

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