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Kiwis & National Want Tougher Penalties For Crime

The National Party and the public are aligned in wanting tougher penalties for crime and a Justice system that puts victims’ interests ahead of offenders’ interests, National’s Justice spokesperson Paul Goldsmith and Police spokesperson Mark Mitchell say.

“Data released over the weekend indicates that three-quarters of New Zealanders want stronger prison sentences for criminals, and stricter penalties for young offenders,” Mr Goldsmith says.

“Kiwis understand that to keep the public safe, crime must have real consequences. Sentences should denounce the seriousness of the crime, recognise the harm victims 
suffer and deter others from offending. That is why National will strengthen New Zealand’s sentencing regime because light sentences for serious offending erode these pillars of our justice system.

“But for six years, Labour’s only goal in Justice has been to reduce the prison population by 30 per cent, regardless of how much crime there is. Under Labour’s permissive approach, violent crime has increased 33 per cent, gang membership is up 70 per cent, retail crime has doubled, and there have been almost two ram-raids a day this year.

“Labour’s political friends are no better with Te Pāti Māori wanting to abolish prisons by 2040, and the Greens being more focused on prisoners’ rights than victims’ rights.

“National will ensure criminals face consequences and that victims receive justice. Under National, gang members will find it harder to get home detention, instead of being imprisoned, because National will introduce new limits on sentence discounts, stop taxpayer funding for cultural reports, and will make gang membership an aggravating factor at sentencing.”

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Today National has released its full Restoring Law and Order policy which includes:

  • Backing police with new tools to crack down on criminal gangs.
  • Delivering more Police on the beat to target inner-city crime.
  • Ensuring criminals face real consequences for their crimes with stronger sentences.
  • Dealing effectively with ram raids with a new Young Serious Offenders (YSO) category and stronger consequences, like Young Offender Military Academies.
  • Delivering faster justice for victims by speeding up the court system and better rehabilitation for offenders to reduce re-offending.

“New Zealanders have every right to be concerned when they see gangs taking over public spaces, businesses fortifying themselves against crime, political party volunteers being intimidated on the campaign trail by gangs, and violent offenders receiving large sentence discounts and home detention,” says Mr Mitchell.

"Police need greater powers to disrupt gangs, serious offenders must face serious consequences, and young offenders need stronger interventions to turn around their lives.

"National is committed to restoring law and order, reducing criminal activity, supporting victims, and improving rehabilitation access.

“We don’t want more prisoners; we want less crime. Providing more deterrence and enforcement is part of that approach. To account for any potential increase in prisoner numbers in the short term, National has included a tagged contingency for Corrections of $718 million over four years in our Fiscal Plan.

“This election, voters have a clear choice between a Labour-led coalition that will continue to jeopardise public safety with their soft on crime experiments, or a National-led government that will restore law and order and put victims first."

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