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Violent Crime Boom Hits New Zealand

Violent crime has gone through the roof to hit an all-time high and the Government's police cutbacks are to blame, National's Police spokesman Tony Ryall said today.

"Under this Labour Government, the chances of getting mugged, bashed or raped are higher than they have ever been and the Government is doing nothing about it. Lawlessness is now rife on our streets.

"I've been telling the Government for months that violent crime has been soaring across the country. They've ignored it and their 'Crime Reduction Strategy' is nothing more than a desperate attempt to talk tough knowing they've lost the battle.

"Today's announcement of an 8.6% increase in violent crime for the year ended 30 June 2001, comes after an increase of 4.7% in violent crime for the year ended 31 December 2000. This is an historic high both in the number of violent offences and the rate per head of population. In the late 1990s, violent crime was trending down; the explosion in violent crime under the Labour Government has seen that trend do a sharp turn.

"An extra 3,444 New Zealanders were violently attacked in the past year. That's 66 more violent crimes per week.

"Violent offenders know that the Government has cutback police numbers to save money and they know the chances of getting caught are getting lower and lower.

"The Government must make reducing violent crime a dual priority with domestic burglary. Police have proven that a focus on burglary can reduce that crime, a similar effort on violence should do the same," Mr Ryall said.


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