“A brazen broad daylight smash-and-grab is the latest example of why Labour need to start sticking up for innocent shoppers’ right to move freely around their community,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Criminals are escalating their attacks on innocent people and Labour's silence is deafening. It’s hard to imagine how terrifying it must have been for the shopkeepers in Hamilton today, and people who were out shopping.

“The Prime Minister’s made much of her time in New York, but charity begins at home. How can the Prime Minister get tough on dictators with nuclear weapons when she can’t even stop thugs with hammers knocking over jewellery stores?

“The problem is Labour has spent five years putting criminals rights first with their target for lower prison numbers, end of three strikes, and attempts to contract gangs among other sops. Criminals just took advantage of Jacinda’s kindness, and this is when her kindness is dangerous.

“Labour needs to stop apologising, drop the target of fewer people in prison and set a target of New Zealanders feeling safe.

“Tackling serious offending needs new solutions, innovation and, most importantly, consequences for offenders.

“Here are five ACT ideas the government should implement immediately:

• Dump the prison reduction targets: we should be focussed on keeping our worst offenders locked up, not concentrating on letting them out

• Introduce Youth infringement notices: practical instant penalties to stop young criminals before their crime escalates

• Ankle Bracelets for ram raiders: Ram raids are being carried out by the same, hardened group of young people who face no consequences. They’re too young for prison, they’re known to escape from youth justice facilities, or are sent home to their families where they have a lack of guidance and discipline

• Introduce Gang control orders: Used to prohibit bad behaviours including being in a particular location or associating with particular people. It could also be used to require positive actions, like attending rehabilitation

• Dump cultural reports from the Sentencing Act: These reports are leading to massively reduced sentences for some of our most hardened criminals, by focussing on the background of the offender our justice system is failing to properly acknowledge the victim.

“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.

“As a local MP I am visiting businesses far too often who have targeted, I am talking to people kfar too often who have been intimidated by gang members and I am talking to people around the country who tell me it’s time for real and meaningful change.

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

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David Seymour