“The Prime Minister has no idea what is going on with the biggest crime problem hammering business owners across the country, and she doesn’t appear to even want to know,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“When asked in Parliament whether her Government was doing anything about ram raids, the Prime Minister remarkably rejected the premise of the question, insinuating that the criminal act terrorising businesses across New Zealand isn’t even that big a deal by saying “Whilst we have disputed the suggestion that overall we have a proliferation of criminal acts by young people because there has not been evidence to suggest that.”

“Try telling that to the devastated and scared shop owners who are being hit on an ever-increasing basis.

“Despite her initial ramblings, the Prime Minister did eventually admit that Police are keeping a tally of ram raids occurring across different regions – she just hasn’t bothered to look at the numbers.

“It was as if the Prime Minister took offence at the suggestion that she should be across the detail of what is happening with the most urgent crime problem facing business owners up and down the country.

“The Prime Minister should live up to her claims of leading an ‘open and transparent’ government and release these figures, so Kiwis know the scale of the problem that needs addressing.

“Ram raids are one of the major problems affecting New Zealanders right now, and Labour has not gone hard or early.

“This is another case of Labour sitting back and hoping the problem will go away. The issue is that when it doesn’t, they panic and announce rushed policy – what are the odds of a ‘Ram Raid Taskforce’ being announced?

“Labour’s soft on crime approach has seen these offences erupt. Officers have told me that these offenders have no fear of consequence. Much of the current crimewave is being caused by re-offenders which shows that not enough is being done to steer these kids away from a life of crime.

“As part of our recent Law and Order policy launch, ACT proposed instant, practical penalties for young offenders, giving police the power to deal with offences on the spot.

“For every crime committed there is a victim who deserves better, and when youth is involved, the stakes are even higher – we can’t sit by while young New Zealanders become criminals. The Prime Minister should be across this important issue, the fact she isn’t shows a leader who is out of touch and ready to move on.”

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David Seymour