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One extra violent offence every 30 minutes

Simon Power MP National Party Justice & Corrections Spokesman

16 April 2008

Labour's record: one extra violent offence every 30 minutes

Violent crime in New Zealand is now at its highest level ever, says National's Justice & Corrections spokesman, Simon Power.

"The rise in violent crime reached 56,983 offences last year - a 43% rise over the 39,688 offences recorded the year Labour became the Government in 1999.

"That's a disastrous record by any stretch of the imagination.

"That's 17,295 more violent offences than in 1999.

"That's one extra violent offence every 30 minutes.

"Back in 1994, present Corrections Minister (and former Justice Minister) Phil Goff claimed violent offences were at 'the highest level ever in this country's history'.

"That year, violent offences numbered 44,580.

"They dropped to 39,688 in 1999 before starting the relentless rise we've experienced under Labour, to a level where there are now 12,403 more violent offences than Phil Goff's 'highest level ever'.

"And how can Labour claim it is doing something about violent crime when latest figures show that since 1999 the average length of prison sentences for violent offences has fallen by 8.5%, including 11% shorter sentences for indecent assault, 17.5% shorter sentences for aggravated robbery, 7.5% shorter sentences for male assaults female, and 17.6% shorter sentences for assault on a child?

"The Justice Minister, and the present Corrections Minister, can't hide from those numbers.

"The fact is that crime is now nastier than ever, with its intensity and violent nature increasing at staggering rates, and Labour doesn't seem to have any answers.

"After eight-and-a-half years, Labour is bereft of ideas."


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