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Sentences For Violence Longer Under National

Media Statement By

Tony Ryall

Minister of Justice

22 August, 1999

"Average sentences for the most violent crimes have risen steadily under National-led Governments," Justice Minister, Tony Ryall, said today.

"In 1990, the last year of Labour's troubled Government, overall average sentences for violent offences were just 21.2 months", said Mr Ryall.

"Average sentences have risen almost every year since then, and are now 25.8 months, 22 percent higher than under Labour.

"In 1993 National increased the maximum penalties for rape, in much the same way as we did recently for violent home-invasions.

"The result was an immediate increase the average length of sentence imposed for rape from 6 years in 1993 to 7 years imprisonment in 1994.

"Since then sentences for rape have continued to increase and are now just under 8 years imprisonment, 43 percent higher than they were under Labour.

"With the home-invasion legislation now passed, sentences for violent home-invasion crimes should follow a similar trend and also increase significantly over time.

"True to form Labour refused to support putting violent home-invaders away for longer, just as they refused to support putting rapists away for longer.

"Labour talks tough but votes soft on crims. They simply don't have the stomach to make the hard decisions that are sometimes necessary for the safety of New Zealanders. Labour's caucus is too politically-correct", said Mr Ryall.

Average custodial sentence length (in months) for violent offences, 1989 to 1998 |------------+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------> | | | | | | | | | | | | 1989 | 1990 | 1991 | 1992 | 1993 | 1994 | 1995 | 1996 | | | | | | | | | | | |------------+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------> >-------+-------| | | | | 1997 | 1998 | | | | >-------+-------| |------------+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------> | | | | | | | | | | | Rape | 71.4 | 66.3 | 71.3 | 69.8 | 71.9 | 84.1 | 85.3 | 87.8 | | | | | | | | | | | |------------+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------> >-------+-------| | | | | 89.4 | 94.6 | | | | >-------+-------| |------------+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------> | | | | | | | | | | | Overall | 20.9 | 21.2 | 21.8 | 22.5 | 22.0 | 23.9 | 24.3 | 24.7 | | | | | | | | | | | |------------+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------> >-------+-------| | | | | 25.1 | 25.8 | | | | >-------+-------|

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