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Labour too slow on help for victims of crime

Simon Power MP
National Party Justice & Corrections Spokesman

25 September 2008

Labour too slow on help for victims of crime

Labour should be ashamed that they’ve left it till six weeks before the election at the end of their third term to do anything much for the victims of crime, says National’s Justice & Corrections spokesman, Simon Power.

“But even then their response is hardly anything to be proud of.

“The freephone information line and the website are probably useful tools, but the fact that they’ve only just got around to establishing a Victims’ Charter is little short of a disgrace, considering Helen Clark first announced it in 1994 – 14 years ago.

“This is indicative of Labour’s paralysis concerning victims.

“They’ve had six years to introduce serious and useful initiatives since the Victims’ Rights Act 2002 but they’ve done virtually nothing until now.

“Where are the real tangible moves that will help victims? Such as:

• A victim compensation scheme.
• A levy on prisoners to go to their victims.
• A victim Services Centre.
• A victim notification register that works.
• A review of the Victims Rights Act.

“These are all things that National proposed six months ago.

“And where are the initiatives they’ve been promising? Such as:

• A victims’ compensation scheme. All we’ve heard about is a discussion document that is buried somewhere in the Law Commission.
• The Legal Services Amendment Bill, which was designed to stop people like Karl Kuchenbecker’s widow receiving a $19,000 bill for legal aid. Annette King told the Sensible Sentencing Trust in April it would be introduced in May and passed soon after, but it still hasn’t had its first reading.

“After nine years, that is an abysmal record.”

ENDS

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