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Desperate Labour out of ideas on tackling violence

Simon Power MP
National Party Justice & Corrections Spokesman

16 December 2007

Desperate Labour out of ideas on tackling violence

After eight years, the Labour Government is so bereft of ideas on how to tackle violent crime that it has resorted to picking up National’s policies, says National’s Justice & Corrections spokesman, Simon Power.

“Labour’s plan to give police the ability to issue on-the-spot protection orders for suspected victims of domestic violence is a direct steal of National’s policy, which was announced by John Key just six weeks ago.

“Labour has paid only lip service to the very concerning upward trend in violent crime – particularly domestic violence – which has risen 32% since they were elected.

“They have done nothing for eight years, but as soon as National comes up with an idea that gets widespread support from the public, women’s groups, and the police, Labour rushes in and tries to claim it as their own.

“I’ll be watching with great interest how they follow National’s law and order announcements next year.”

Attached: John Key’s press release of November 1 announcing on-the-spot protection orders

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John Key MP
National Party Leader

1 November 2007

National announces policing policies

The police’s crime fighting toolkit will be expanded under a National government and more powers will be given to clamp down on gangs, says National Party Leader John Key.

In a speech to the Police Association National Conference today, Mr Key says a violent crime now occurs every 10 minutes, and there’s a sexual attack every four hours and a robbery every three-and-a-half hours.

“I want Kiwis and their families to feel safer in their homes, their streets and their neighbourhoods. National is committed to ensuring police have the tools they need to protect the public.

“No one would expect a mechanic to fix a 2007 model car with a set of tools from the 70s. Neither should we expect our modern police officers to fight 21st Century crime with outdated equipment, laws and powers.”

National will:

• Introduce tasers, subject to a positive evaluation of the trial. Tasers have shown to be an effective tool for deterring offenders who would have gone on to harm the public or police.

• Require DNA samples to be taken from all those arrested for offences punishable by imprisonment.

• Give police the ability to issue time-bound, on-the-spot protection orders.

• Reinstate the position for determining bail prior to the 2007 amendment to the Bail Act.

On gangs, National will:

• Strengthen the provisions in the law that make it illegal to be a member of a criminal organisation.

• Amend the Crimes Act to make it easier for police to conduct surveillance on gang communications.

• Change the Local Government Act to give police increased powers to remove and storm gang fortifications.

• Amend the Sentencing Act to make gang membership an aggravating factor in sentencing.

Mr Key says National will also see through the campaign to recruit an additional 1000 sworn and 250 non-sworn officers by mid-2009.

“We believe that the bulk of the additional sworn officers should be deployed to pro-active policing to make our streets safer and prevent crime.

“I am also concerned about the reputation of the police, and National wants to promote improved public confidence in the police force.

“As such, we want to see progress in implementing the recommendations of the Bazley Report.

“I believe we can and must do better at reducing crime and keeping Kiwis safer.”

Ends

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