Sanctions vital in stopping abuse of legal orders

The Government’s admission that it plans to remove sanctions for outstanding arrest warrants underscores their soft-on-crime approach, says National’s Social Development and Employment spokesperson Louise Upston.

“The last National Government introduced requirements to clear an outstanding arrest warrant within 28 days, with failure to do so possibly resulting in a benefit deduction.

“It is unacceptable for anyone to wilfully defy legal orders without consequences. No one is above the law.

“That is why sanctions can be applied where people repeatedly ignore legal orders.

“Numbers of people on the run from the law has dramatically increased under Labour, yet the Government wants to abolish a tool that’s proven effective to get people to hand themselves in.”

“Data obtained under the Official Information Act shows that under the current settings 75 per cent of people sanctioned hand themselves in within a month.

“This proves the sanctions provide a much needed nudge for people to comply with the law.

“Far from being punitive, this means the full justice process can be completed and any rehabilitative support ordered becomes available.

“Most importantly it means victims have any wrongdoing acknowledged and receive any support the court orders.        

“Hiding from authorities and avoiding responsibility helps no one.

“I urge the Government retain this justified and effective tool.”

You can find an extract of sanction numbers here.