“The NZ Herald has reported that four tradies and a local man performed a citizen’s arrest on a criminal who was attempting to escape with an armful of stolen goods. After apprehending the man and calling the Police, Police told the men to let him go because they were too busy to arrest him.

“New Zealand has reached the point where someone can come into the business, attack your livelihood, and take your things with no consequences.

“This is a stinging indictment on Labour's experiment to release 30 per cent of people from jail. The offender literally yelled “if the police come I’m going to go back to prison”, while the tradies apprehended him.

“Repeat offenders are now responsible for 36 per cent of all reported retail crime incidents. Labour has made crime worse through their misguided policies, and then want praise for hiring more police to catch the crooks they tag and release. This example proves that the increase in crime has far outstripped any increase in police personnel.

“I’m sure Police want to address every crime they can, but the amount of crime occurring has gotten so out of control they are stretched well beyond their means. In Canterbury there is currently only one police officer for every 658 residents, that is far less than the Government’s aim of one officer for every 480 people.

“This is the reality for business owners across New Zealand. They are under siege from criminals and they feel like the Police are not going to protect them. In this case they’re dead right for feeling that way.

“Any business owner who hears about this is going to have less faith in the Police’s ability to keep them safe and will be less likely to contact them, and any aspiring thief is going to think they have free reign to shoplift with no consequences.

“ACT has clear policies in place to fix the problem, and 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 end the 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 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.

“It’s the Government’s first duty to keep people safe. When tradies are catching criminals instead of fixing and building things you know the Government has failed. They need to go.”

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