“Until we accept reality and start locking up more criminals, Kiwis will remain unsafe in their communities, their workplaces and even their homes. ACT is proposing tougher sentences for serious crimes and increased capacity to lock more criminals up,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“The human cost of being a victim is nothing compared to the cost of imprisoning criminals. Dividing the cost of locking up 10,470 offenders (the prison population before Labour’s 30% reduction experiment) across the population works out at about $1.06 each per day. That’s just a dollar a day to keep creeps off the streets.

“Imagine working late in your dairy. You’ve been attacked before. You know the government has run out of places to put criminals, you have read in the news about a gang member yelling “cracked it!” after being issued home detention for violently assaulting a pregnant woman in her own home, or about Matu Reid, who murdered two construction workers while on home detention for violent domestic assault. Where are your rights? Where is your safety?

“The Government’s first job is to keep law-abiding New Zealanders safe from criminals. That means having enough room in prisons to incapacitate dangerous people. If there’s not enough capacity, then the Government needs to invest in prisons and ensure there is room to lock up criminals.

“ACT’s alternative budget cuts waste in many areas of government, which allows us to invest in areas that are important for public safety. We would invest $1 billion to build an additional 500 prison beds and ensure there is sufficient capacity for dangerous people to be locked away from law-abiding New Zealanders.

“Since 2016, almost 9,000 people have been charged with an offence while subject to home detention. Offenders on home detention put New Zealanders’ safety at risk by committing over 1,500 offences every year.

“ACT has previously called for a review of the use of electronic monitoring for offenders which has increased dramatically under Labour to almost 6,000 people last year. This increase includes an 83 per cent increase in sexual offenders on electronic monitoring, and a 133 per cent increase in gang members sentenced for violent offences.

“We would ensure tougher sentences by removing abolishing the consideration of cultural reports and backgrounds that lead to sentencing discounts, and making certain judges consider future risk to victims and the community. This will mean less dangerous people on home detention and more in prison where they can’t cause more trouble.

“Labour came to office promising to scrap longer sentences for repeat violent and sexual offenders, reduce prison numbers by 30%, and not build any more prisons. ACT is promising Real Change and real consequences.

“Imprisonment is better than lawlessness. Locking up criminals is about preventing more victims.”

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