“Labour’s new-found enthusiasm for tackling crime is like waiting for a ram raid before putting up bollards – which, sadly, is Labour’s policy for crime-hit retailers,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“New Zealand needs more police officers but they need to be given the tools to do their job. Instead Labour has abolished ACT’s Three Strikes law and put in place a target to reduce the prison population by 30 per cent.

“How many police officers are being called out to address issues with criminals on home detention who aren’t in prison because of Labour’s prison target?

“Crime is out of control because of the messages Labour has sent to criminals. No one trusts Labour to be able to tackle crime – least of all the criminals themselves.

“ACT says we should take the politics out of policing and increase the numbers of cops in line with population growth. This would ensure we always have the right ratio of Police and political parties will no longer be able to treat Police numbers like a political football.

“Labour says it takes crime seriously. The problem is criminals don’t take Labour seriously.

“Labour has treated criminals nicely hoping they’ll be nice back.

“Cuddling criminals hasn’t worked. New Zealand’s justice system needs to start putting victims first, which means ensuring appropriate sentences for offenders that will keep communities safe.

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

  • Review the use of electronic monitoring for violent offenders and abolish the prison population reduction target, to directly target repeat offending.
  • Build more prison beds so that serious offenders are put behind bars.
  • Require individuals to complete skills or rehabilitation programmes prior to being considered for parole. There will be no early release without rehabilitation.
  • Ensure tougher sentences for crime in the workplace. And remove cultural reports that lessen sentences for serious crimes.
  • Bring back three strikes for violent offenders, and a separate Three Strikes regime for burglary offences.
  • 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.
  • Introduce ankle bracelets for serious youth offenders.
  • Bring 17-year-olds back into the adult justice system.

“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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