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Labour pays lip-service to crime victims

Simon Power MP
National Party Justice & Corrections Spokesman

24 November 2007

Labour pays lip-service to crime victims

“Buck passing is the last thing Corrections and the Probation Service should be doing following the latest debacle to land in their laps,” says National Party Justice & Corrections spokesman Simon Power.

He is responding to reports today of a murderer who was paroled to live next door to the daughter of the woman he killed.

“Answers are needed. The woman’s family told the board they feared he would stalk them when he got out of jail, and they believed he was not to be released within a 50km radius of the woman or her family. What went wrong?”

The murderer was paroled on January 31, but the family were not told his location to protect his privacy.

Mr Power says the system has again failed the victims of crime and not for the first time.

“As far back as early 2003, then Justice Minister Phil Goff was rehearsing his lines for the latest blunder and promising change. Nothing has happened.”

In January 2003, the family of Phillip Hunt was not told the woman convicted of killing him was on parole and staying next door to his sister and just down the road from his mother.

“At the time, Mr Goff said that new laws would make that sort of mistake a thing of the past, and that the parole board would be forced to become more open with victims.

“Sadly, that has not happened,” says Mr Power

Mr Goff went as far as to say that victims would be advised about the board's decisions.

“He promised more changes if the system wasn’t working. Nearly five years on and nothing’s changed.

“This Labour Government seems more intent of protecting the privacy of killers than it does in protecting the rights of their victims.”


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