“ACT will deter the growing number of criminals committing burglaries with a three strikes for burglary law,” says ACT’s Justice spokesperson Nicole McKee.

“The New Zealand Crime and Victims Survey released today found that 289,000 burglaries were committed in the past year and repeat burglaries have increased from 40 per cent to 63 per cent over the past year.

“ACT will go after the small number of burglars repeatedly victimising New Zealanders.

“Criminals are getting more brazen and are returning to the scene of the crime for another go. They know that, right now, their enterprise is low risk and high reward. We need to show them that there are serious consequences for their actions.

“ACT’s policy is for burglars to spend at least three years in prison without parole if convicted of the crime a third time.

“Burglary is a serious invasion of privacy. Victims are left with not just financial loss but emotional trauma and struggle to feel safe in their own home afterwards.

“Weak sentencing means there’s little motivation for people to report burglaries, and little reason for police to give them priority. Even if more burglaries were solved, it wouldn’t do much for prevention. Few convictions result in jail time and, even when they do, it’s usually only for a few months. This leniency is little comfort for the victims.

“A small group of reoffenders are committing most burglaries. That’s who we need to target. Under a three strikes system, a third conviction would mean three years in jail – it’s so simple even a burglar can understand it.

“This policy will send a signal that crime has consequences. If offenders choose to go down that path of inflicting misery on others, then they will go to jail.”