Tuesday, 21 June 2022

Violent gang members on home detention treble under Labour


“The number of gang members convicted of violence offences who have been allowed to carry out their sentence in the comfort of their own home has almost trebled under the soft on crime Labour government,” says ACT’s Corrections spokesperson Toni Severin.

“Gang numbers have boomed under Labour and Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis has made it clear he wants fewer people in prison. In May 2017 there were 125 gang members convicted on charges of violence who carried out their sentences at home. In May this year there were 364.

“These are people who have worked to get a patch and then went on to commit violence against another person. Instead of serving the time for doing the crime, they’re allowed to stay at home, play video games, watch Netflix and be with their families.

“What kind of signal does this send to other gang members who carry out violence?

“It gets worse. The number of gang members who have been sentenced for charges involving a weapon and been allowed to stay at home has also doubled, from 19 in May 2017 to 44 this May.

“The total number of gang members serving a sentence at any point has risen from 410 in May 2017 to 889 in May this year. Almost 900 gang members have avoided jail.

“Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis will say that sentencing is out of his control. But the reality is that this Government has said it wants fewer people in prison and that it wants to “work with the gangs.” The courts and parole board will hear that rhetoric and feel empowered to give anyone with a patch a bracelet instead of real punishment.

“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 their house.

“Kelvin Davis needs to explain these numbers and make it clear that violent gang members should be sentenced properly for the havoc they are causing in our communities.”