With growing reports of gang tensions, drug crime and shootings, National can reveal the number of serious harm cases before the courts has increased by 25 per cent since the election, Leader of the Opposition Simon Bridges says.
“Serious harm cases include rape, sexual assault, murder, manslaughter and drug crimes.
“As a former Crown Prosecutor, husband and father, I find these figures completely unacceptable. Our communities are now being directly affected by a Government that is more focused on reducing prison numbers than reducing serious crime in our communities.
“The statistics show crime is increasing and cases aren’t moving through the courts as quickly. Slow moving justice has the biggest impact on victims and that’s not fair on people who have already been through serious trauma.
“Despite the fact that more serious crimes are happening at the same time the prison population is decreasing. Labour’s soft on crime approach means fewer serious offenders are being held to account. We also know there are fewer Police on the beat than was promised
“Nationally, cases of serious harm are up 25 per cent, in Auckland 20 per cent, Waitakere 35 per cent, Wellington 32 per cent and Christchurch 40 per cent.
“The Government has taken its eye off reducing crime and is focusing on just getting numbers in prison down. I’m hearing from the frontline that youth offenders in particular are being caught by Police for serious offending, and are sometimes back on the street within hours, committing more serious offences.
“The focus National had on early intervention and stopping crime before it happens just isn’t there under this Government.
“The Government isn’t doing its job properly if there are more serious and violent offenders in our communities.
“Being safe in your home and community is a key part of wellbeing.
“National is tough on crime and we put victims at the heart of our criminal justice system.”