“After more than five years of cuddling criminals and ignoring victims, Labour’s sudden pre-election change of heart on crime is hardly believable. It’s too late, there has to be Real Change this election to put law and order in place again,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

"As late as a few months ago, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis confirmed to ACT in a parliamentary written question that reducing the number of prisoners by 30% was still the Government's policy. This is a late, desperate u-turn.

New Zealanders are being terrorised by thugs in their homes, in their businesses, and on the streets. We have a serious problem, and it all comes back to values. The big question is: who do you trust to be tough on crime?

“It was the Labour Government who set a goal of cutting the number of people behind bars by 30 per cent. Now we’re seeing the consequences. Hipkins is now effectively admitting the prison reduction target was a mistake.

ACT will ensure tougher sentences for serious crimes, invest in increasing the capacity of the prison system, and ensure that prisons are truly rehabilitating. Most of all, we will put victims back in the centre of the justice system.

ACT will:

  • Reform the reparations system so that the Crown faces the burden of risk of slow reparation payments or nonpayments, rather than the victims of crime.
  • Impose tougher sentences for crimes on vulnerable workers, amending the Sentencing Act so that judges must take into account the fact that a serious violent offence occurred against a worker during their course of work as an aggravating factor and removing the role of cultural reports in sentencing decisions.
  • Clarify that judges are to impose the least restrictive outcome that does not impose a disproportionate risk to the community, and that they must not only consider the historical impacts of the offending on the victim, but also consider any present risks the sentence may impose on the victim.
  • Invest $1 billion to build an additional 500 prison beds and ensure there is sufficient capacity for dangerous people to be locked away from law-abiding New Zealanders.
  • Improve the information available to judges on the risks of re-offending.
  • Reinstate Three Strikes.
  • Show a clear pathway of consequences for young offenders, from instant practical penalties to ankle bracelets
  • Fund the construction of 200 new youth justice beds, managed by Corrections.
  • Repeal changes that came into force in 2019 that expanded the youth justice jurisdiction to include 17 year olds.
  • Instantly disqualify gang members from holding a firearms licence and increase Police’s power to seize assets of gang members found with illegal firearms.
  • Use Inland Revenue’s powers to investigate gang members’ incomes.
  • Require individuals to complete skills or rehabilitation programmes prior to being considered for parole.

“A compassionate Government looks to protect those who might find themselves to be victims first, and then aims to rehabilitate offenders. That is what ACT is proposing.

ACT believes protecting the safety and property of New Zealanders is the government’s first and most important job. Our policies restore balance to a system that has become too focussed on criminals instead of victims.

ACT’s policies have real consequences, that will mean real change in the safety of communities.”

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