Crime caused by ‘so­cial fail­ings’

Western Leader - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - DANIELLE CLENT

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.

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