Crime caused by ‘social failings’
Crime has been a hot topic lately with a number of dairies being targeted, and Upper Harbour candidates have shared their views.
Labour’s Jin An said crime was a result of a number of social failings including poverty, inequality and a broken down health service.
‘‘While crime has been actually decreasing for the past 20 years our prison population is the second highest in the developed world.’’
But An said the prison system was expensive and did not work.
‘‘It costs about $100,000 to prison someone. A programme at an alcohol and drug treatment court costs $35,000 and it deals with the meth addiction that is fuelling the burglary rather than just locking someone up for a while and letting them back out again,’’ she said.
National Party candidate Paula Bennett, the current minister of police, said while crime has been decreasing since 2008, a ‘‘slight’’ increase has occurred in the past two years.
‘‘That’s why we’re investing $500 million for 1200 new police over the next four years, including 880 sworn officers. We’re putting more police on the beat, with 56 staff being deployed across the wider Auckland region this year to build police capacity and support local policing teams to deal with future growth in our electorate and across Auckland,’’ she said.
Bennett said the additional staff would target specific issues in the region, staffing the 24/7 Eagle helicopter.
ACT party candidate Bruce Haycock said he particularly saw burglaries as an issue in the electorate.
He said police often saw crimes against properties as of lesser importance, but they made a person feel personally violated and have a heightened sense of insecurity.
Haycock said the party’s three strike policy needed to cover burglary ‘‘for the sake of the long suffering innocent citizen’’.
Green Party candidate James Goodhue did not provide a response in time for this article.