“The PM is claiming retail crime rates are up because more thefts and shoplifting are being reported. What he fails to admit is that there’s so much crime a lot of these reports aren’t even being investigated,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Speaking to Mike Hosking this morning, Chris Hipkins said “Let’s just look at the data. The biggest increase in retail crime is in shoplifting and theft under $500. We have to understand that one of the reasons we’re seeing that is that we’ve made it a lot easier for those businesses to report it so we’re seeing a lot more reporting.” He went on to say, “The fact that those businesses are reporting more of the crimes being committed, gives police more tools to tackle it.”

“There might well be more of these crimes being reported, but that doesn’t mean the reports are leading to justice for the victims. Written Parliamentary Questions show that Police are closing 37 per cent of thefts (under $500) and 45 per cent of shoplifting incidents (under $500) to focus on more serious offending.

“‘being closed’ means that the Police have chosen to not undertake any investigation because of work prioritisation.

“The PM is searching for excuses when he should be providing answers.

“As a local MP, I’ve gone through periods where every time I return from Parliament I go and visit the latest victims of retail crime. Retailers have been calling for more action for the best part of a year, which is why ACT released its law and order policy document focussed on retail crime in August 2022.

“The Government needs to show a clear pathway of consequences for young offenders, from instant practical penalties as proposed by ACT, to ankle bracelets for offenders, to secure facilities to keep offenders in if they do not comply with earlier sanctions. It then needs to get them back to school or employment.

“It’s time we sent a message to New Zealand that crime will be punished, that if you’re willing to take part in rehabilitation you will be given another chance but most importantly that victims are at the heart of the justice system.

“ACT will keep proposing positive solutions to ensure all New Zealanders feel safe and that we have real change.”

Press Contact

[email protected]