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Labour's broken promise No 10 on law and order

Simon Power MP
National Party Justice & Corrections Spokesman

13 October 2008

Labour's broken promise No 10 on law and order: tougher sentences for illegal drugs

Labour has failed to fulfil promises it made at the last election to change the law concerning crimes involving the use of methamphetamine, says National's Justice & Corrections spokesman, Simon Power.

"In their 2005 election manifesto Labour said they would 'Ensure that deliberate use of illegal drugs is treated as an aggravating factor at sentencing for crime carried out while under the influence of those drugs'.

"They also promised to 'amend the Sentencing Act to make criminal offending in the presence of a child, which endangers or otherwise exposes the child to potential adverse effects, an aggravating factor at sentencing. An example of this would be manufacturing methamphetamine at home'.

"But in the three years since, there have been no moves to change the law.

"This is despite the prevalence of methamphetamine and the growth in violent crime that usually accompanies it.

"Labour has dropped the ball in the war against this evil drug.

"They even admit it themselves.

"Police Minister Annette King said back in March that strategies to combat the billion-dollar methamphetamine trade were not working.

"And that same Cabinet paper showed Labour had rejected or deferred far more measures to combat gangs than it recommended, leading the paper to conclude that 'none of the proposals in this paper require an immediate legislative response'.

"Former Justice Minister Mark Burton brushed off inquires about the promise to amend the law to make the deliberate use of illegal drugs an aggravating factor, saying drug use 'may be taken into account as an aggravating factor under common law'.

"Labour have failed to pass laws that would have given police real powers to tackle the gangs head-on."


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