Govt’s weakness on crime lets victims down

It is no wonder the Government’s media release about the latest New Zealand Crime and Victimisation Survey led with a small decrease in burglaries as this is where the good news stops, Leader of the Opposition Judith Collins says.

“Behind the celebratory headline the data that fits with what National MPs have been hearing all over the country can be found – no improvement in victimisation across the three years the survey has been running and more New Zealanders feeling unsafe.

“In the past 12 months, 29 per cent of adults experienced one or more offences against themselves or their household. This stat rises to 38 per cent for Māori, 47 per cent for bisexual people, and 55 per cent for those with high levels of psychological distress.

“Despite the Government’s constant lip service to identity politics, minority groups are among the most victimised New Zealanders. All the performative professions of advocacy for Māori wellbeing are all well and good, but what are they doing to reduce the disproportionate rate of victimisation experienced by Māori?

“The survey also concluded that “adults were most concerned about their safety in Hawke’s Bay and Auckland” and we know that both regions have experienced a rapid proliferation of gang members. Kiwis are reporting feeling less safe while Government Ministers are visiting gang pads and hosting gang members at the beehive.

“New Zealand cannot afford the Government’s weakness on law and order. They have been open about their aim to lower the prison population and have done so recklessly by letting criminals out. At the same time we have seen violent crime increase significantly and gang membership swell to record levels.

“This Government seems incapable of extending the empathy they have for offenders to their victims. They are even planning to repeal the Three Strikes Law later this year.

“Jacinda Ardern and her Government are adept at PR spin and know how to craft a speech about how much they care about vulnerable groups, but New Zealanders have had enough of the talk and want to see some action.”