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Fall in murder rate in past nine years encouraging


Hon Clayton Cosgrove
Law and Order spokesperson

7 April 2009 Media Statement

Fall in murder rate in past nine years encouraging


An annual murder rate that declined by almost 15 percent during the past nine years proves false claims by the Government that Labour was soft on crime, says Labour law and order spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove.

“If you listened to what National said, particularly in the two years leading up to the election, and if you paid heed to what some of the bloggers were saying, you might well have believed our streets were paved with danger,” Clayton Cosgrove said.

“That was simply not true. While every murder remains a tragedy, the rate of murders per million people has, in fact, halved since the mid-1980s.

“The reality is that the number of murders hardly fluctuates at all from year to year, and that’s why it was so sickening that National, aided and abetted by some commentators and bloggers, so dishonestly built the picture last year of our streets not being safe for New Zealanders.”

Clayton Cosgrove said he hoped the steady decline in the murder rate continued during the three years of National government. “There is no reason it shouldn’t particularly if the rate of domestic violence starts to peak and then gradually decline as New Zealand society accepts ‘it’s not okay’.

“The overall crime rate is not getting worse in New Zealand. The fear-mongers in our society, led by right-wing bloggers and senior National politicians who should know better, have much to answer for. If society is more afraid than it used to be, such fear is often driven by perception, not reality.

“Labour will be watching closely over the next two-and-a-half years of National administration to make sure the perception is not also allowed to become the reality.”


ENDS

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