No parole for worst repeat violent offenders
John Key MP
National Party Leader
6 October 2008
No parole for worst repeat violent offenders under National
There will be no parole for the worst repeat violent offenders under a National Government, National Party Leader John Key announced today.
“Law and order is a major issue in New Zealand right now, with violent crime escalating and Labour unable to shake off its lethargy and do anything about it after nine years.
“Violent crime increased by 11% in just the past year and by 47% since Labour came to office in 1999.
“That is not good enough.
“It’s not good enough that many people don’t feel safe on their streets, let alone in their homes.
“That’s why I’m making the safety and security of our communities a very high priority of any Government I lead.
“I’m determined to get on top of this.
“Along with policies I have already announced – cracking down on gangs and their drug trade, strengthening bail, and giving police more powers – National is going to toughen parole law.
“Parole should be a privilege, not a right, and I believe that any decision on granting parole should always err on the side of the public’s right to safety.
“Under National’s policy, people who commit a violent offence that earns them a prison sentence of five years or more – regardless of whether or not they serve the full term – will not be eligible for parole if they commit a subsequent violent offence that receives a sentence of five years or more.
“That five-year threshold will include crimes such as attempted murder, kidnapping, sexual violation and attempted sexual violation, indecent assault, aggravated robbery and burglary, grievous assault, and some serious assaults
“This policy will also apply to those who commit murder if they have previously been sentenced to five years or more for a serious violent offence. They will serve their full life sentence inside prison.
“National estimates this policy could add up to a further 572 offenders to the prison population by 2011, meaning we may need to build a new prison at an additional cost of about $315 million, which will incur operating costs of $43 million a year.
“But if that’s the cost of keeping the public safe – if that’s the cost of keeping the most dangerous offenders off our streets for longer – then it will be money well spent.”
National will release more sentencing policy closer to the election.
Find National’s parole policy and backgrounder at: http://national.org.nz/files/2008/parole_policy_paper.pdf