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10. Better Public Services Targets—Reduction in Crime

10. Better Public Services Targets—Reduction in Crime and Reoffending

[Sitting date: 23 July 2014. Volume:700;Page:14. Text is subject to correction.]

10. ANDREW LITTLE (Labour) to the Minister of Justice : Is she confident in the progress of the Better Public Services target for the justice sector to reduce overall crime by 15 percent by June 2017?

Hon JUDITH COLLINS (Minister of Justice): Yes .

Andrew Little : How can she be confident that crime is reducing when according to the New Zealand Family Violence Clearinghouse, family violence investigations increased from 86,800 in 2010 to 95,100 last year, and yet her crime figures show a drop?

Hon JUDITH COLLINS : Actually, we have confidence in the New Zealand police, unlike the Labour Party. In addition to that, it is a good thing that more people are now reporting family violence. It is certainly something that when many people in this House were growing up no one spoke about and today people have confidence to come forward.

Andrew Little : How can she be confident that crime is reducing when there are reports such as the one in the Taranaki Daily News on 10 July this year in which a Crown solicitor confirmed that a police prosecuting sergeant had instructed another officer that he should not have laid as many charges in a particular case, because of the need to reduce crime by a certain percentage?

Hon JUDITH COLLINS : Obviously the Taranaki Daily News is something that we all should be reading. Having said that, of course, the recorded crime rate is not on the number of prosecutions; it is actually on the reported crime. I am sure that that member, if he has a look at his notes, would find that I am correct and he is wrong.

Andrew Little : Does she accept that, as Minister of Justice, when she first discovered there had been a misreporting of crime statistics in Counties Manukau, she should have passed the information on and done something with the information to see how it would affect her justice sector targets, rather than ignoring it because she was no longer police Minister?

Hon JUDITH COLLINS : Well, absolutely not. This Government does not deal in rumour and gossip. If, of course, we did, then I might start talking about that member talking to the Sunday Star-Times—

Mr SPEAKER : Order! I do not think the answer is going to assist the order.

Andrew Little : Will she accept that the combination of arbitrary targets and bonus payments to senior police officers is leading to manipulation and utter deceptive conduct in relation to the recording of crime figures, and that New Zealanders can have no confidence that crime is reducing, as the Government claims?

Hon JUDITH COLLINS : No, that is an outrageous suggestion to make—that the New Zealand police would ever, as a body, engage in that sort of behaviour. The New Zealand police are the finest police in the world, and I am proud to be part of a Government that supports the police and gives them the tools to do what they need to do. They are fantastic. I am ashamed that that member would say it. He should be saying sorry just like his leader always does.

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