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Pre-charge warnings good policy

Pre-charge warnings good policy

Date : 23rd September 2015

Rethinking Crime and Punishment has defended the use of pre-charge warnings, challenging the Police Association to base criticism on evidence rather than gut reaction.

"The evidence suggests that in general people arrested and receiving pre-charge warnings are significantly less likely to repeat their offending than those who go on to be charged and appear before the court," said Rethinking spokesperson Ced Simpson.

Police Association head Greg O'Connor has argued that use of pre-charge warnings was creating "a generation growing up with no fear of consequences" (NZ Herald 21 Sep).

Mr Simpson said that the system, used in cases of minor offending, frees police and court time to focus on more serious offending.

"It is wrong to suggest there is no accountability with formal pre-charge warnings. Police are expected to consider offending history, victim impact, seriousness of offending and demeanour, when making a decision, and may require various conditions such as reparation."

"Getting tough on crime cannot mean adopting policies that simply feel right, rather than actually work to reduce crime."

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