Labour’s prison U-turn comes six years too late

The Prime Minister’s admission today that Labour will finally ditch its disastrous target to reduce the prison population by 30 per cent is too late for Kiwis who feel unsafe in their homes, businesses and communities, National Corrections spokesperson Mark Mitchell says.

“For the last six years, Labour have focussed on emptying out New Zealand’s prisons rather than trying to reduce crime.

“The result has been unsurprising, with violent crime up 33 per cent, serious assaults up 121 per cent, gang membership up 70 per cent and two businesses ram raided every day.

“For Labour to now try to quietly ditch its prison reduction target just days out from an election shows how desperate Labour has become to pretend the last six years never happened.

“Chris Hipkins will say anything to try to get re-elected, including making major policy changes without telling Labour’s deputy leader and Corrections Minister.

“National will restore law and order and ensure offenders face consequences.

“We’ll introduce stronger sentences for convicted criminals by limiting the ability of judges to reduce sentences, making gang membership an aggravating factor, restoring Three Strikes and ending taxpayer funding for cultural reports.

“Our Backing Police, Tackling Gangs policy will ban gang patches and insignia in public, stop gang members gathering in public with dispersal notices, introduce Consorting Prohibition Notices to stop gang members associating, and issue Firearms Prohibition Orders to stop gang members getting guns.

“This election, voters have a clear choice between a tough on crime National-led government that will take urgent action to ensure our communities are safer, or three more years of a Labour-led Coalition of Chaos, cosying up to the gangs and failing to impose real consequences for criminals who inflict harm on law-abiding Kiwis.”.