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Govt Continues Commitment To ‘Soft On Crime’

Family First NZ says that the proposed scrapping of the Three Strikes Law will only be celebrated by repeat violent offenders, but it will do nothing to protect families and communities from worsening levels of family harm, violent crimes and gun violence.

“The Labour government had no public mandate for scrapping it, and the evidence suggests it is having the desired effect. There has been a dramatic drop from the number of 1st strikes to 2nd strikes and then again to a third strike. Criminals aren’t stupid. They are well aware of the law and its consequences. If the regime is scrapped, the government is in danger of sending a message that we’re not serious about the It’s Not OK zero-tolerance message on family violence, or zero tolerance on gun violence,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

“The Three Strikes law reinforces that we take victimisations seriously. A repeated ‘slap on the wrist’ for violence undermines our efforts to reduce tolerance for violence and the career choice of repeat violent offenders.”

“The best and most obvious way to protect women, children, men and the elderly from repeat violent offenders and from gun violence is to incapacitate the offenders. You can’t commit crimes against families and communities if you’re in prison. The purpose of this three-step law has been to warn ‘career criminals’ to find a new job or else they will become ‘career inmates’. They are effectively being given two chances to stop their violent behaviour.”

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Research has shown that 88% of second strikers are assessed as High Risk of reoffending by the Department of Corrections and have an average of at least 26 criminal convictions on their record. 38% of second strikers have convictions for offences that are now strike offences, prior to them becoming strike offences. Third strikers have an average of 63 criminal convictions on their record.

A 2018 poll of almost 1,000 New Zealanders undertaken by Curia Market Research and commissioned by the Sensible Sentencing Trust found that 68% of respondents approve of the Three Strikes Law and only 20% disapprove (13% unsure or refused to say). Significantly, the support was strong amongst Labour (63% support) and NZ First voters (66% support). The nationwide poll was carried out during February and March and has a margin of error of +/- 3.2%.

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