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Class A drug dealers to be let off the hook by Little

Class A drug dealers to be let off the hook by Little

The Government’s justice reforms continue to become more dangerous, with Justice Minister Andrew Little suggesting non-violent dealers of P and other Class A drugs should not be in prison and left in our communities instead, National’s Justice Spokesperson Mark Mitchell says.

“Methamphetamine is a scourge on New Zealand communities and New Zealanders will be horrified to learn the Justice Minister thinks fewer P dealers should be sent to prison.

“His comments on Newshub Nation today that the only Class A drug offenders who need to be in prison are those involved in violent, stand-over tactics come just days after he used an indecent assault on a female Corrections officer as an example of ‘low-level’ offending.

“When asked if prison is the best place for a Class A drug offender awaiting trial, Mr Little said ‘If the drug offending is also leading to stand-over tactics, violent tactics then yeah, to keep other people safe it probably is, but is that the case for everybody charged with a Class A drug offence? It’s hard to say.’

“Actually it’s pretty easy to say - there are P dealers who aren’t involved in stand-over tactics but who inflict pain and misery on our communities and deal the drugs that lead to others committing violent crimes, and these people should be held to account just as much as P dealers who are themselves violent. They should be removed from our communities until they can prove they won’t continue to supply and fuel the damage caused by Class A drugs.

“Mr Little confirmed that the Ardern-Peters Government will be trying to soften our bail, parole and sentencing laws, which means more of these P dealers and other serious criminals will be let loose on our communities.

“This comes at the same time Police Minister Stuart Nash is talking about clamping down on organised crime. This clumsy Government is working at complete odds with itself.

“And in what’s becoming a habit of this Justice Minister, he’s also disputed his Government’s own figures that show 98 per cent of prisoners are there for the most serious offences, that are punishable by a term of imprisonment of two years or more.

“Public safety appears to be the trade-off this Government is willing to make to fuel its own apparent obsession with reducing prison numbers.

“The solution to reducing prison numbers lies with National’s social investment approach – early intervention and support that will prevent people entering the criminal justice system.

“But the arrogance of this out-of-touch Government is putting Kiwis at risk and will mean more victims at the expense of less prisoners. National will continue to fight these appalling changes.”

© Scoop Media

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