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Govt Response To Youth Crime Policy Is Weak


The tired and predictable reaction of Labour Ministers to National’s plan to combat serious youth offending reveals the Government is scrambling, defensive and knows it is failing to keep Kiwis safe, National’s Justice spokesperson Paul Goldsmith says.

"Labour’s track record in law and order is weak and tired. During a miserable five years, violent crime has risen by 21 per cent, gang members have increased by 50 per cent, and a new ram-raid every 15 hours represents a staggering 500 per cent increase.

"These numbers speak to a failing of ‘Kiwibuild’ sized proportions.

"Labour’s Minister of Justice, Kiri Allan, appears content with the strategy of ‘ignore, deny, ignore’ while New Zealanders are terrorised up and down the country every single day.

"Allan had the audacity to claim that National’s policy was a recipe for ‘fully fledged nationwide criminal networks’. If the Minister had turned on a television in the past twelve months she would know the criminal networks she speaks of are absolutely thriving under a Government that is soft on crime and absent for victims.

"The Deputy Prime Minister appeared to take the side of criminals over victims, saying that National’s policy “did not work”. I’d remind Mr Robertson that something is clearly not working when you’ve got shop fronts being smashed in by 16-year-olds in stolen vehicles every single night rather than tucked up in bed and going to school every day.

"Labour’s soft-on-crime coalition didn’t stop there, with Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson calling the policy “harmful”. Although we don’t agree, we do think that thousands of children growing up in this Government’s shameful emergency housing motels is harmful – something that Minister Davidson is responsible for.

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“The Green Party is campaigning to ensure beneficiaries who are on the run with a warrant out for their arrest still receive the benefit. That sums up their approach to law and order.

"These Ministers know that the Government doesn’t have a plan and New Zealand is going backwards. That is why they can only delve into ideological debate, which doesn’t solve the problem. And let's be clear about the problem – right now, a Kiwi business is ram-raided every 15 hours.

“So far, the Government’s approach has been to wring its hands and do nothing at all. The only thing the Prime Minister has to say about youth justice is about giving 16-year-olds the vote.

“National is the party of law and order and we will not ignore the serious challenges that New Zealand faces.”

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