Restoring order to the law

New Zealand used to be a country where people couldn’t find the house keys when they went on holiday.

It’s a far cry from the world we live in today.

Instead we are experiencing record levels of violent crime up to 33% in five years, with little to no consequences it seems, for the culprits.

The Government’s announcement on June 1 that it had delivered its promised 1800 ‘frontline’ police after six years in power, has done nothing to alleviate the real fears many of us are experiencing in our communities.

In that same six-year period, gang numbers have increased by 66%, we are living in unprecedented wave of youth offending and ram raids are up 500% since 2018.

People are living in fear while business owners are paying the cost by either cleaning up the damages done or closing them down after repeated attacks.

This is not the New Zealand I want to be living in.

National has made law and order one of four key areas of focus of our next term in government along with the economy, health and education..

We plan to restore real consequences for those committing criminal activities.

Our policy for tackling youth offending has been out for some time now but to recap includes greater powers for police, a new young serious offender category for 10-17 year olds; military academies where they can be sent for up to a year and investing in community organisations working with young offenders and their families.

More recently we’ve put gangs on notice with a simple message — if you chose to align yourself with one and engage in criminal activities, you will face severe consequences.

They include stronger sentences for convicted criminals, limiting the ability of judges to reduce sentences, making gang membership an aggravating factor, restoring the Three Strikes law and ending taxpayer funding for cultural reports.

Funding which will go to support victims instead to give them access to services, counselling and meet costs like transport to attend court hearings.

Eligibility for offence-based rehabilitation programmes to remand prisoners currently unable to access them will also be extended.

We are making National’s position on crime clear — that it is unacceptable that whole communities must bow to whims of criminals.

Enacting it is one of our first priorities should we be successful post-October 14.