“Albert Einstein once said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Chris Hipkins should heed this advice, no matter how much he pretends he is tough on crime, no one is buying it,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“After two disastrous days of law and order announcements being rushed out to try and keep up with polling, Hipkins has gone for the trifecta.

“There has been a 465 per cent increase in ram raids in the last two years. Now, 87 days from an election, when just about every dairy owner in the country has been made a victim already, Hipkins announces they want to crack down on them by introducing a new offence with a ten-year sentence.

“Currently, you get 10 years maximum for burglary and 14 for aggravated robbery, so what does this change? So long as judges don’t send people away, give massive sentence discounts when they do, and no rehab happens in prison so people reoffend, this will make zero difference. It is desperate window dressing.

“It shouldn’t take an election for a Government to suddenly care about victims.

“ACT has called on the Government to get tough, and smart on the epidemic of retail crime that followed the epidemic of COVID-19. We have proposed idea after idea to try and get on top of the ram raids and the robberies, but the Government has barely listened, if at all.

ACT will make sure there is real change if elected this October:

  • ACT will ensure harsher sentences for crime in the workplace.
  • ACT will review the use of electronic monitoring for violent offenders and abolish the prison population reduction target, to directly target repeat offending.
  • ACT will build more prison beds so that serious offenders are put behind bars.
  • ACT will require individuals to complete skills or rehabilitation programmes prior to being considered for parole. There will be no early release without rehabilitation.
  • ACT will bring back three strikes for violent offenders, and a separate Three Strikes regime for burglary offences.
  • ACT will introduce an infringement notice offence for shoplifting, resulting in instant, practical punishments such as fines and community service to ensure the shoplifter takes responsibility for their offending.
  • ACT will introduce ankle bracelets for serious youth offenders.
  • ACT will bring 17-year-olds back into the adult justice system.

“Labour’s goal of cutting the number of people behind bars by 30 per cent is sadly one of the only things they’ve been able to achieve, the consequences are an increasing amount of New Zealanders being terrorised by thugs in their homes, in their businesses, and on the streets.

“It’s well past time for a change of values on crime, it just shouldn’t take an election to make it happen. People can have no faith that the moment the polls close Labour won’t go straight back to cuddling criminals and forgetting about victims.

“It’s going to take a Government with ACT at the centre to take crime seriously, restore proper consequences, and put victims first.”

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