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Arrest warrant stats raise more questions than answers

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Arrest warrant stats raise more questions than answers - Sensible Sentencing Trust

Figures published today by the NZ Herald, showing that there are currently over 17,000 active arrest warrants, some for serious violent offences, are deeply concerning.

Sensible Sentencing Trust spokesman Garth McVicar today said: “The Police do a great job apprehending criminals, but these figures are deeply concerning and raise more questions than they answer. This number represents over 40% of the proportion of arrest warrants typically issued each year. That’s not good enough.

“Of even more concern is the over 1,562 arrest warrants outstanding for serious, violent or sexual offences. Many of these offences will be subject to the three strikes law. But if the offender commits another serious violent offence before being convicted of the one, or more, for which they are currently evading the Police, they will circumvent the three strikes law.

“In effect, these offenders are rewarded for staying on the run or offending while at large or on Bail. That’s wrong. It’s not what the public expects. We have recently called on the Government to fix this loophole in the three strikes law in our submissions on the Bail Amendment Bill and the Christie’s Law campaign.

“The Herald also reported that the 15 homicide and related offence warrants related to persons not in New Zealand who had fled overseas. That’s a disgrace. Since 2004, potentially 15 people have avoided justice for the most heinous of crimes on the statue books. Do the Police not communicate with Customs and Immigration? How could people with active arrest warrants flee overseas so easily?

“The report card from these statistics is surely: Fail. Must do better.” ENDS

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