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Labour's legacy on law and order - broken promises

Simon Power MP National Party Justice & Corrections Spokesman

14 October 2008

Labour's legacy on law and order: at least 10 broken promises

The Labour Government cannot be trusted to deliver what it says it will do on law and order, says National's Justice & Corrections spokesman, Simon Power.

"This Labour Government has broken at least 10 major promises on law and order.

"If they had kept them, there is a very good chance law and order agencies would be a long way further down the road to getting on top of violence, the manufacture of methamphetamine, and crimes being run from prison, and victims of crime would be being treated better than offenders.

"This is a dismal legislative record and Labour should be ashamed of it. They have broken promise, after promise, after promise:

1. Organised Crime (Penalties and Sentencing) Bill. Promised in 2007 to tackle gangs.

2. Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Bill. Promised at 2005 election to tackle gangs.

3. Corrections Amendment Bill No 2. Promised in 2007 to help stop contraband in prisons.

4. Changes to the Domestic Violence Act. Promised at 2005 election to protect families.

5. 'To crack down on youth crime'. Promised at 1999 and 2002 elections, but violence by 14-16 year-olds has increased by 52% since then.

6. 'To clarify the legal aid system' so victims of crime do not have to pay for legal aid. Promised in January, April, May and August 2008.

7. To deliver a victims' compensation scheme. Promised in 1994, 1996 election, 2005 election, 2008.

8. 'To stop prisoners keeping compensation'. Promised that a 2005 law change would 'remove incentives' for prisoners to claim, but prisoners have received more money than victims.

9. 'To produce a credible plan to combat crime'. Promised at the 2002 and 2005 elections, but the Crime Reduction Strategy has been panned and left unchanged.

10. 'To treat the use of illegal drugs during the commission of a crime, and when offending is committed in the presence of a child, as aggravating factors at sentencing'. Promised at 2005 election.

"The sad fact is Labour could have implemented all these measures during the last term.

"They could have pushed through some, or even one, of these bills through Parliament under urgency last month, but they preferred bills such as the Public Lending Right for NZ Authors Bill

"Who knows how much misery might have been averted if they had not been so lazy.

"People concerned about the rising level of violence have to ask how they can trust a party that makes this many promises, from the Prime Minister down, but reneges on them.

"Because Labour dithered, violent crime continues to escalate like never before.

"Labour cannot be trusted to deliver on law and order."

ENDS

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