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Rapist, drug dealer, robbers, run from home D

Simon Power MP
National Party Justice & Corrections Spokesman

27 May 2008

Rapist, drug dealer, robbers, run from home D

A rapist, an arsonist, a drug manufacturer, a drug dealer, violent robbers, burglars, and thieves all walked away from Labour's risky home detention scheme last year, says National's Justice & Corrections spokesman, Simon Power.

Most were caught although, as at February, five were still on the run, including one burglar who had been on the run since December 2005 - a period of two years and two months.
Mr Power is releasing information which shows that those who absconded also included people convicted of wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm, possession of a firearm, contravening a protection order, wounding with reckless disregard, and fraud.

"That's a very worrying list of offences.

"The Government says these absconders represent only 2% of those on home detention, but that's not the point.

"It's the type of crime they've committed and the threat they present to society by being out on home detention in the first place that I'm worried about.

"Just one of them repeating their crime while on the run is one too many.

"Is it worth saving a few prison beds to have these people loose on our streets?

"Many of them pose a risk to society and should not be left in a situation where they can reoffend relatively easily.

"Figures I released several weeks ago show that 801 of the 1,517 people on home detention in 2006/07 had been convicted of either violence, sex, or drug offences.

"Is it worth saving a prison bed to allow a former teacher to be on home detention when he has been convicted of indecent assaults against students?

"Is it worth saving a prison bed to allow a man who admitted shaking a baby to the point of unconsciousness to be sentenced to home detention when the judge said that if it had not been for a change in the law last year, he would have no trouble sending him to jail?

"By changing the law to allow home detention for these people, Labour has put its obsession with reducing the number of prison inmates ahead of public safety.

"Home detention is a sentence that must be restricted to only low-level offenders who pose no direct threat to the community."


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