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National announces Action Plan for Violent Crime

John Key MP
National Party Leader

30 October 2008

National announces Action Plan for Violent Crime

National Party Leader John Key has today released his Action Plan for Violent Crime and declared that it is ready to go from the first day of a new National-led Government.

“New Zealanders are sick of waiting for promises on law and order to be delivered,” he told the Annual Conference of the Police Association.

“Over the past nine years Labour has promised and promised and promised but delivered very little.

“That will change under a National Government, and it will change from day 1.

“The time for talk is over. It’s time for action.

“While Labour has been scurrying around trying to dig up dirt and play political games, National has been busy preparing and drafting laws that will be passed as a matter of priority, should we be elected.”

The plan will:
1. Clamp down on criminal gangs and their drug trade – Legislation drafted.
2. Tackle increasing violent youth crime by bolstering the Youth Court with a range of new interventions and sentences – Legislation drafted.
3. Toughen the bail laws to make it harder for criminals awaiting trial to get bail – Legislation drafted.
4. Remove the right of the worst repeat violent offenders to be released on parole – Priority action.
5. Boost police numbers and put 600 more on the streets, including 300 in South Auckland – Training to start next January.
6. Introduce DNA testing for every person arrested for an imprisonable offence – Legislation drafted.
7. Give police on-the-spot protection orders to help them protect victims of domestic violence – Legislation drafted.
8. Compensate victims by levying criminals and putting the money into a Victims Compensation Scheme – Legislation drafted.
9. Increase maximum sentences for crimes against children – Priority action.
10. Make prisons work smarter by increasing drug and alcohol rehabilitation and compulsory work for prisoners – Priority action.

“This list by no means covers all the steps National will take to make our communities safer, but it does show how urgent the situation is and that we are prepared to take up the fight when our opponents haven’t.

“As a country we have failed to do enough to intercept young kids who are running off the rails and put them back on the rails.

“When offenders are placed in our prisons, there has been a lack of meaningful progress with rehabilitation, or even to keep them free from the drugs that play a major part in much of their behaviour.

“And our bail, sentencing, and parole laws have allowed those people who have become hardened criminals back into our communities when it is abundantly obvious that they will reoffend.

“Police officers tell me of the frustration they feel as they watch young offenders, able to predict with certainty that they will inevitably commit very serious offences that will have a very real impact on innocent victims and their families.

“National’s Action Plan for Violent Crime will take the practical steps necessary to start addressing these failures and to squarely face the challenge of escalating violent crime.”


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