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Govt will put public at risk if it axes new prison

16 November 2017

Govt will put public at risk if it axes new prison

The Government’s thoroughly contradictory approach to law and order will put the public at greater risk and ensure more criminals go unpunished, National Party Corrections spokesperson Simon O’Connor says.

“What we have is the Corrections Minister saying he wants to axe the planned build of a new and needed prison at the same time as a second Minister is claiming he will be tough on crime and a third wants to put more Police on the streets,” Mr O’Connor says.

“More Police and tougher sentences means more arrests and more prisoners but Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis is telling us we’ll have fewer places to put them.

“It simply doesn’t add up and the result will mean our communities will be less safe.

“While we must continue efforts to reduce crime and reoffending, there’s no escaping the fact that the number of prisoners is increasing.

“And we know that over 75 per cent of prisoners are locked up for serious, violent offences. The only way the Government will be able to axe the prison build is by letting prisoners loose or failing to catch and sentence them in the first place.

“Mr Davis needs to think very carefully about the potential consequences for the public before making any decisions, though sadly there does not yet appear to be any indication he is doing so.

“He needs to front up to New Zealanders and explain why he is willing to put their safety at risk.

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