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Government must address family breakdown

18 June 2008 Media release

For immediate release

Government must address family breakdown after killings

The Government's solution to violence in liquor stores in the wake of the recent killings and robberies is more about appearances than solutions, says Vision Network NZ National Director Glyn Carpenter.

Rather than passing legislation to reduce the number of liquor stores in poor areas, Vision Network NZ is calling on the Government to address family breakdown.

This is particularly given that Prime Minister Helen Clark admitted in Parliament this week that those who grow up in homes without love and who experience violence are certainly more likely to have a predisposition to such violence.

"Even High Court judges have stated that that family breakdown is a major driver of violent crime in places like South Auckland, and the Government needs to address issues its own leader has publicly acknowledged. Looking into the causes and effects of family breakdown should be more of a priority than closing down liquor outlets in poor areas," Mr Carpenter says.

In 2006 Manukau City had one off licensed premise for every 1778 people compared to one for every 942 in Christchurch. But in Manurewa, there are 33 off licence liquor outlets for a population of 80,000 or one outlet for 2400 citizens. Clevedon has 11 off licences for a population of 10,000 citizens or one for every 833 citizens. Going by this logic, there should be three times as many offences in liquor outlets in Clevedon than in Manurewa.

"Could it be that family breakdown is a bigger issue in South Auckland than in places like Clevedon?" asks Mr. Carpenter. "If so, and that leads to lawlessness, why is the number of sworn officers per head of population in Counties Manukau the second-lowest in the country?"

“Instead of cracking down on liquor stores, the Government should be cracking down on inadequate policing, and start addressing family breakdown and its devastating effects,” Mr Carpenter concluded.

Ends.

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