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Labour on another planet on violent crime

Simon Power MP
National Party Justice & Corrections Spokesman

23 June 2008

Sun, moon, urban design – Labour on another planet on violent crime

Helen Clark and her Ministers seem to be on “another planet “ when it comes to violent crime, says National’s Justice & Corrections spokesman, Simon Power.

“In their desperation to sheet the blame to someone else for their nine years of neglect, they’ve tried all sorts of excuses.

“Earlier this year, Helen Clark was blaming the upsurge in youth violence on the Budget in 1991.

“Then her Police Minister tried to say the full moon and the hot sun were to blame.

“And today we have Helen Clark trying to blame ‘bad urban design’ – as if somehow a few trees in a park are responsible.

“This is pretty desperate stuff, and points to the fact that she has run out of ideas.

“Her Government has had nine years to get on top of violent crime, but in that time the number of violent offences has climbed by 43% - from 39,688 offences in 1999 to 56,983 last year.

“As soon as there are problems, they trot out pathetic excuses and mimic National’s policies, as they did last week by adopting half of our policy on gangs after their bill sat around for a year.

“And trying to put most of the blame on alcohol is a bit rich considering they have done nothing after reviews two years ago.

“Helen Clark promised in her election pledge card in 1999 to ‘crack down … on youth crime’, and in 2002 to provide ‘more support for proven programmes to cut youth offending’, but instead youth violence has rocketed.

“It’s time Labour took responsibility for creating conditions that have seen violent crime – particularly youth gang crime – increase.

“It’s no coincidence that violent youth crime has climbed 47% since they were elected.

“They have failed to deliver.”

ENDS

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