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Election 2011 - Party Policies - Law & Order

Election 2011 - Party Policies - Law & Order

Law & Order

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  • Review police procedures surrounding section 48 (self-defence) and 56 (defence of property) of the Crimes Act.  Law-abiding citizens who use reasonable force to defend themselves or their property should not be dragged through the courts.
  • Investigate a degrees of murder regime, so that those who are convicted of first degree murder receive life imprisonment without parole.
  • Consider re-introducing the Sentencing Council.  The Council would promote consistency and transparency in sentencing amongst different courts and Judges, and Parole Board practices.  The government would still develop underlying sentencing laws.
  • Push for automatic sanctions for prisoners failing to undertake educational opportunities and/or drug and alcohol courses, or failing drugs tests.  Sanctions could include an automatic extension to non-parole period.
  • A "broken windows" approach to policing, especially in respect of youth.  Criminal activity is significantly less likely to escalate when caught and punished early.  A fence at the top of the cliff is much better than the ambulance at the bottom.
  • Victims to receive promptly any reparation payment ordered by the Court.  Courts should be able to use attachment orders against the offender’s wages and/or benefit and/or property.  Adopt the same approach with large unpaid fines. (more here)

  • A moratorium on all new prison construction except for the purposes of replacement.
  • No private prisons, but support public and private contracting for rehabilitative services eg counselling.
  • Increase provision for rehabilitation of prison inmates.
  • Increased access to programmes in prisons focused on education, drug and alcohol rehabilitation and mental health.
  • Establish 'family houses' for pregnant women and mothers in prison to ensure good bonding with infants and continuing attachment with young children. (more here)

  • Labour will review the current protocols for 'scene of crime officers', with a view to increasing the use of non-sworn Police staff to conduct on-site preliminary administrative tasks where there is no immediate threat to personal safety.
  • Labour will investigate whether lower-level crimes are being responded to in a way that meets the standard of response that the public expects from the Police.
  • Labour will examine the role of sworn Police to make sure that their talent and skills are used effectively in order to protect the public.
  • Labour will bring all Police districts back up to the strength funded in 2008, and will ensure that any allocation changes benefit all Districts. This will require additional funding for approximately 145 constables at a cost of $24 million a year, phased in over four years.
  • Labour will, as resources allow, also fund more Police staff to extend the community policing model we implemented when in Government.  This will involve working with communities to determine the programmes they need so as to target particular crime hot spots such as youth crime, burglary and family violence.
  • Labour will increase all one-officer Police stations to at least two officer stations.
  • Labour will continue to evaluate the various alternative approaches to dealing with organised crime, and implement a tougher set of measures that effectively target members of organisations who associate for the purpose of organising, planning, facilitating, supporting or engaging in serious criminal activity.
  • Labour will continue to evaluate the adequacy of existing legislation in dealing with the different types of offences related to organised crime and the adequacy of the tools and remedies available to Police, other enforcement agencies, and the Courts in order to effectively address organised criminal activity in any shape or form. (more here)

Not set out on their website.

Not set out on their website.

  • Pass the Victims of Crime Reform Bill. This will: Give victims more say over what goes into their Victim Impact Statement;  Introduce a Victims’ Code to improve how government agencies interact with victims; Improve communication between prosecutors and victims and; improve the Victim Notification System.
  • Pass the the Prisoners’ and Victims’ Claims (Redirection Prisoner Compensation) Amendment Bill to ensure any compensation awarded to a prisoner is paid to their victims or to the Victims’ Services Fund.
  • Fund the safe@home programme with $500,000 a year from the offender levy.
  • Increase penalties for breaches of protection orders to better protect victims of domestic violence.
  • Change the way evidence is heard to better protect vulnerable court participants – especially children.
  • Put in place changes from the recently-passed Criminal Procedure (Reform and Modernisation) Bill.
  • Pass the Juries (Jury Service and Protection of Particulars Jury List Information) Amendment Bill.
  • Continue to get legal aid spending under control, after eligibility and provider fees were expanded under Labour.
  • Introduce a law providing for class actions. This will let different complainants bring similar claims to court at the same time rather than having to wait years longer for their individual claims to be heard.
  • Reform the tribunals system to gain administrative service efficiencies and improve access to justice. (more here)

  • Establish community safety plans with police, local bodies and communities, building local knowledge and community relationships, and ensure that all households can receive information about local policing issues.
  • Re-introduce ‘beat’ cops for every neighbourhood, to raise the visibility of police and their interaction with the community they serve, as well as boosting intelligence-gathering capabilities.
  • Encourage volunteer and community agencies to take a role in promoting a crime free society.
  • Increase the length and standard of Police training and mentoring programmes to ensure that new recruits are fully prepared. (more here)
  • Support the development of a multi-party accord on crime with the aim of shifting political debate to issues of fact and the reasons for New Zealand’s high rate of recidivism. This to be undertaken in conjunction with organisations including The Salvation Army and the Prison Fellowship.
  • Make suitable employment and accommodation integral components of the parole process. One of the major causes of recidivism is the lack of opportunities available to inmates once they leave prison. Financial stability, job prospects and adequate accommodation are prerequisites for ‘a new start’.
  • Ensure that there is less of a disparity between the sentence given and that which is actually served. This will most practically be done by reducing the length of the sentence but extending the non-parole period from one-third of the sentence to two-thirds. The effect of this will be greater public certainty over the length of time inmates will spend in prison. (more here)



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