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Labour's broken promise No 9 on law and order

Simon Power MP National Party Justice & Corrections Spokesman

10 October 2008

Labour's broken promise No 9 on law and order: Crime reduction strategy

Labour has failed to produce a credible plan to combat crime, despite promising one since the 2002 election, says National's Justice & Corrections spokesman, Simon Power.

"Labour has been talking about a new Crime Reduction Strategy (CRS) since 2001.

"It was meant to be an umbrella strategy for seven priority areas, but Cabinet was told in 2001 that 'strategies to address most of these priorities were ... in place or in preparation'.

"At the 2002 election, Labour said it would be 'implementing our Crime Reduction Strategy, which recognises and tackles the root causes of crime', and Ministers agreed to establish targets by June 2002.

"But a year later Cabinet was told that attempts to develop the targets had failed - the Joint Ministers' Group had met only twice in two years despite agreeing to meet at least three times a year.

"At the 2005 election, Labour promised to 'continue to implement, review, and improve crime prevention activities and initiatives flowing from the Crime Reduction Strategy'.

"In other words, they knew there was a problem but still the Ministers didn't meet.

"Two months later, Treasury slammed the strategy for a lack of clarity on priorities, measurement of progress, and a lack of focus on stopping intergenerational crime.

"If that wasn't bad enough, in April 2006 a consultant from the UK said of the strategy: "It is difficult to find evidence of its impact as 'an overarching framework which ensures that ... strategies align and work collectively (and efficiently) to achieve crime reduction'".

"He recommended either redeveloping or redefining it as a less ambitious strategy.

"Nothing was heard for over a year, until Justice Minister Mark Burton said the CRS was to be reviewed during the 2007/08 year. And in June this year, Justice Minister Annette King said she had received no reports on a review of the strategy in the past year.

"Labour has dropped the ball on this. As far back as 2005 they were being told there were problems with the CRS but they failed to do anything about it.

"For two elections they promised an overarching strategy to tackle crime, and at the 2008 election they still have no plan.'


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