”The numbers of violent and sexual offenders being released on electronic bail has increased dramatically under Labour and it’s time we reviewed who is eligible,” says ACT’s Corrections spokesperson Toni Severin.

“There are some instances where electronic monitoring is appropriate. Young ram raiders would be the perfect candidates to ensure that they’re abiding by curfew and attending school.

“The increases seen over the past five years raises questions about why so many violent offenders, gang members and sexual offenders are being allowed to stay in the comfort of their own home.

“While Ministers aren’t responsible for sentencing or who gets parole, Labour has set the tone by being soft on crime and focusing on lowering the prison population. It’s done this without considering consequences for actions or how victims might feel.

“At the start of this year, almost 6000 people were serving electronic monitoring sentences or orders.

“When you send a message to the judiciary and the parole board that you don’t want people behind bars - they listen.

“Since October 2017 there has been:

• 75 per cent increase in child sex offenders on electronic monitoring

• 83 per cent increase in sexual offenders on electronic monitoring

• 133 per cent increase in gang members sentenced for violence offences on electronic monitoring

• 100 per cent increase in gang members and associates sentenced for charges related to weapons.

“There are also more people tampering with their bracelets. At the beginning of 2017 there was 1 person a month recorded as interfering with the ankle bracelet. By the end of 2021 there were 47 a month.

“ACT would review the use of electronic monitoring for violent offenders, and we would abolish the prison population reduction target.

“ACT stands on the side of victims. If someone has been at the receiving end of violence from a gang member, or attacked with a weapon, they deserve to feel safe knowing the offender is serving time, not just down the road in the comfort of their home.

“New Zealanders are tired of criminals having little or no consequences. It’s time to turn the tables. We hear ya.”

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Toni Severin