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Labour tackles crime by building lavish courthouse

Simon Power MP
National Party Justice & Corrections Spokesman

18 May 2007

Labour tackles crime by building lavish courthouse

The Labour Government has done nothing new in the Budget to tackle the rising rate of crime, says National's Justice & Corrections spokesman, Simon Power.

"Their response to the problems in the justice sector is pathetic.

"The Budget is bereft of new initiatives to tackle crime, particularly violent and youth crime, both of which continue to grow at an alarming rate.

"In a year when the justice system has been in crisis, when crime rates have spiralled, and when the public have never felt more unsafe, this Labour-NZ First Government's only new initiative is to spend money on building a palace for the Supreme Court."

Among the things that happened on their watch in just the past year:

* A $490 million budget blowout for four new prisons. * Liam Ashley dies tragically after being bashed in the back of a prison van. * A 'segregated' prisoner is bashed in the back of a prison van. * Graeme Burton murders Karl Kuckenbecker while on parole. * Violent crime rises by 5%, sexual attacks by 14%, dishonesty 60%, busts for methamphetamine 19%. * Apprehensions for violent crimes by youths rise 10%. * Prison guards are suspended for smuggling contraband. * There are nine stays of prosecution as courts get more clogged.

"Since Labour was first elected in 1999, violent crime has risen by 28%, with kidnappings and abductions up by 65%, robberies 57%, grievous assaults 51%, and serious assaults 25%.

"In addition, youth crime has taken off, despite Helen Clark's pledge to 'crack down' on it. Apprehensions of 14- to 20-year-olds for violent offences have risen 43%, with sexual offending up 82% and property damage 29%.

"Those figures paint an extremely concerning picture of law and order under this Government, yet they have done nothing new in this Budget to tackle it.

"They have allowed violent crime and youth violence to rocket, but all they do is spend money to build the new Supreme Court palace. That's where their priorities lie."


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