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Rise in youth violence needs National answers

Simon Power MP
National Party Justice & Corrections Spokesman

28 September 2008

Rise in youth violence needs National answers

National Party Justice & Corrections spokesman Simon Power says the surge in knife violence is one more reason why the country needs "National answers" to law and order.

"New Zealanders are increasingly horrified by escalating violence, as illustrated by numbers like the Statistics New Zealand figures quoted today, which show a 20 per cent jump in under-17-year-olds being caught for violence since 2003.

"Labour claims they are on top of law and order, but the fact is they still haven't passed laws they said they would.

"The Labour Government has failed on promises to deliver five important pieces of legislation on law and order, and nor do they seem to have any plans for the future."

Those laws are:

* The Criminal Proceeds Bill, which was promised before the 2005 election.

* The Corrections Amendment Bill, which was announced in June 2007 by their fifth Corrections Minister.
* The Legal Services Amendment Bill, which has yet to be passed.

* Electronic bail legislation, which Helen Clark announced in June, but which has yet to appear before Parliament.

* The amendment to the Domestic Violence Act, which Annette King said would be introduced in July but which also has not appeared. This was promised by Labour at last election, including the issue of interim protection orders.

* Labour also failed to pass Organised Crime (Penalties and Sentencing) bill which would've increased sentences for gang members.

"After nine years, how can Labour continue to claim they're on top of law and order when all these laws are still sitting around?

"How can they claim they're acting on family violence - something they've been talking about for ages - when they can't even organise an amendment to the Domestic Violence Act, which they promised would be introduced in July?"

National has already announced a range of policies to combat youth crime.

"National is committed to making real progress on Law & Order and making our communities safer. There are more policies to come in the next few weeks."

To view National's Law & Order policies to date visit:

  • Policy on Youth Justice

  • Policy on Victims of Crime
  • Policy on Gangs and P
  • ENDS

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