(National Party media release)

Labour’s decision to reduce prison sentences for our worst repeat offenders shows the Government is out of touch on justice, National’s Justice spokesperson Paul Goldsmith says.

“By repealing the Three Strikes legislation, the Government has sent a strong message that criminals will be less accountable for repeated criminal acts.

“Three Strikes meant that the worst repeat offenders spent longer in prison, creating fewer victims and keeping our communities safer.

“It is a perverse priority to reduce sentences for these offenders at a time when gun crime is rampant, gangs are recruiting faster than the police, violent crime is up, and there is a sense of disorder in our communities.

“It is unimaginable that offenders such as Wiremu Allen, who was convicted of a third strike offence which entailed breaking into a house, demanding money from the victim and then shooting him, would not receive the maximum mandatory sentence today.

“Labour’s soft on crime approach has made New Zealand a less safe country.

“Victim advocate groups submitted strongly against the repeal, noting more victims will be created by the Bill. Repealing Three Strikes means that offenders will be back in the community earlier, creating the conditions for more offending.

“National will reinstate Three Strikes. This legislation is necessary to ensure repeat offenders are sentenced in line with the expectations of the communities they want to live in.”

(ACT media release)

“Today’s repeal of ACT’s Three Strikes legislation shows that Labour values ideology over safe communities,” says ACT’s Justice spokesperson Nicole McKee.

“With record ram raids terrorising people up and down the country, Labour’s big message to young offenders is giving an early Christmas present to the worst murderers, robbers and rapists in the country.

“The average Three Strikes offender has 75 convictions, and just 24 people have been sentenced to a Third Strike.

“Scrapping Three Strikes means the worst criminals will serve less time in prison and be out on our streets earlier. There’s no rationale for this change other than to meet Labour’s personal goal of reducing prison numbers, no matter how much danger it puts New Zealanders in.

“Three Strikes was an ACT idea introduced in 2010 to send a signal to violent offenders that New Zealanders won’t tolerate repeated violent and sexual offending.

“There were no petty criminals being charged under the law, it applied to the worst of the worst and made our communities safer.

“Labour has been single-minded in their drive to get rid of it though, along the way they’ve forgotten about the victims of serious crime.

“This is a failure from out of touch student politicians whose idea of sound policy involves rainbows, unicorns and good intentions, but fails to deal with the reality New Zealanders face living in fear of criminals Labour just let off lightly.

“Thankfully, Kiwis won’t have to wait long for this law to be back in place. ACT is committed to reinstating Three Strikes as part of our plan for the first 100 days of Government.”