“The biggest victims of crime in New Zealand are Māori women, failing to be tough on crime only does a disservice to the most disadvantaged communities that Labour claims to care about the most,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“The New Zealand Crime and Victims Survey 2022 shows that Māori, more than any other ethnicity, are victims of crime. They make up 37 per cent of victims, with a shocking incident rate of 61.89 offences against them per 100 adults.

“Māori women in particular are disproportionately the victims of crime. The incidence rate (number of offences per 100 adults) for Māori females was 59 per 100 adults. 38 per cent of adults who are victimised once or more are Māori females.

“The tired argument from the left is that we can’t be tough on crime because it disproportionately affects these very communities, Labour swallowed that argument and has created a culture of lawlessness where the people they claim to serve are the most at risk.

“They should have a look at the facts and see who the victims of crime really are. Being tough on crime is a better policy for protecting these communities than letting them become victims. A compassionate Government looks to protect those who might find themselves to be victims first, and then aims to rehabilitate offenders. Labour has done neither of these things for six years.

“Crime is out of control because of the messages Labour has sent to criminals. It abolished ACT’s Three Strikes law and put in place a target to reduce the prison population by 30 per cent.

“Cuddling criminals hasn’t worked. New Zealand’s justice system needs to start putting victims first, which means ensuring appropriate sentences for offenders that will keep communities safe.

ACT will make sure there is real change if elected this October:

  • ACT will review the use of electronic monitoring for violent offenders and abolish the prison population reduction target, to directly target repeat offending.
  • ACT will build more prison beds so that serious offenders are put behind bars.
  • ACT will require individuals to complete skills or rehabilitation programmes prior to being considered for parole. There will be no early release without rehabilitation.
  • ACT will ensure tougher sentences for crime in the workplace. And remove cultural reports that lessen sentences for serious crimes.
  • ACT will bring back three strikes for violent offenders, and a separate Three Strikes regime for burglary offences.
  • ACT will introduce an infringement notice offence for shoplifting, resulting in instant, practical punishments such as fines and community service to ensure the shoplifter takes responsibility for their offending.
  • ACT will introduce ankle bracelets for serious youth offenders.
  • ACT will bring 17-year-olds back into the adult justice system.

“It’s going to take a Government with ACT at the centre to take crime seriously, restore proper consequences, and put victims first.”

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