Law and Order Policy
We are going to make your community safe so you and your family can live safely and peacefully. Cracking down on youth crime and making our streets family friendly.
Law and Order in New Zealand is consistently neglected by governments, only getting attention during election years. However it is the years between elections that see New Zealanders come under increasing danger in their communities. New Zealand People’s Party will end this boom bust cycle of crime by once and for all by giving New Zealand Police consistency in their funding and recruitment. Giving people the right to defend themselves when they are threatened in their workplace or home will mean victims of crime are no longer charged for standing up for themselves and their families. New Zealand People’s Party will create a safe, harmonious New Zealand for everyone.
Our Law and Order priorities are:
2400 More Police & More Resources
Get Tough on Youth Crime
Legalise Self Defence
A Comprehensive Gun Register
Long Term Rehabilitation
Safe Communities With More Police That Are Better Supported
The New Zealand Police are the heroes of New Zealand who work on the front line everyday to keep us safe. However we are starving them of the staffing numbers they need just to do even the most basic of duties. The New Zealand Police have a world class training facility and some of the best staff, turning out well trained, well prepared junior officers. However training police takes time, we need to recruit the right people, train them and get them through their probation period. The current government has funded police recruitment in fits and starts, reacting rather than preempting. New Zealand needs a forward looking recruitment policy that funds police and police recruitment with the goal of keeping a stable Officer to population ratio. Police need stability and assurance of funding to plan for the future. We aren’t proposing to arrest our way out of the current crisis, but rather give police the people to build long lasting relationships with their communities.
The New Zealand People’s Party will:
- - Boost Police numbers by 2400 and commit to maintaining the ratio at around 1 officer to every 450 New Zealanders.
- - Add at least 50 extra Mobile Police Stations to cities and towns across New Zealand.
- - Provide an accommodation supplement to officers working in Auckland.
- - Stronger deterrents for attacks against Police
- - Give the Senior Station Officer the power to decide when officers should carry fire arms.
2400 More Police
Giving Police the ability to recruit based on population growth should allow them to maintain a constant high level of service and not have to go begging to the government every few years. Consistency in staffing levels will also go a long way to soothing out the crime rate burst we see every few years where, as police staffing levels get stretched crime goes up. It will also allow Police managers to effectively plan for the future with the certainty of knowing exactly how many police their district will have. Currently New Zealand has a police to population ratio of 1:538 and even with the extra 880 police by 2020 this will only go down to 1:527. More of the same is not going to allow NZ Police to effectively deal with New Zealand’s rising crime rate. Our proposal gives an extra 1520 extra police on top of the 880 already committed by the current government will make a meaningful difference to the New Zealand Police ranks and not just plug gaps. We would make sure NZ Police have the resources to train all these extra officers at their world class facility in Wellington.
More Mobile Police Stations Across New Zealand
The Mobile Police Stations have been a huge success across the country and are proving critical to building strong community relationships. They give police the opportunity to park up in areas where they normally wouldn’t spend much time while allowing them to get on with their regular duties. The nature of the units provides a level of agility not normally available to police units. Being able to react to trends by quickly increasing their community presence will allow them to work on their front foot more often. Additionally these units give NZ Police a level of resilience critical to providing an effective response in disaster and emergency situations.
Housing Allowance For Auckland Based Staff
Like everyone else, Auckland Police are feeling the housing pinch, and we believe it is fair to pay a housing supplement to Auckland based staff. Policing is critical to Auckland and with the rising house prices there is a reluctance by officers to be based in Auckland. The massive increase in Auckland housing costs by the current government has led to a situation where officers stationed in Auckland are unfairly disadvantaged. Our Auckland based staff shouldn’t be punished for the current governments incompetence.
Protect Our Cops
Front line Police deserve to be safe while on duty. The number of attacks on police has been rising as criminals become more brazen. Police are on the front line and often putting themselves in harms way in the name of duty. An environment where officers are seen as fair game will have serious consequences in communities and within the Police ranks themselves. The 12 plus attacks on Police per week is far too many and this needs to change if we are going to make New Zealand a safer, happier country. While boosting police numbers and forming better community connections will go a long way to help this, we firmly believe the deterrent needs to be increased with more effective sentencing. In violent situations a mandatory sentencing standard will be introduced to make sure the appropriate response is given to offenders by the justice system. We respect the job our front live officers do and New Zealand People’s Party stand firmly behind them and their families. However we are confident that giving police the resources to improve community relationships will be more effective at reducing attacks on officers.
More Flexibility To Carry Firearms
The arms race between criminals and the New Zealand Police has long been lost by the Police. More and more officers are having firearms pulled on them in routine situations and finding illegal firearms in the hands of people that have traditionally been seen as low risk. As a country New Zealand needs to have an honest conversation about arming our police force, and it is a conversation we need to be proactive about. Lets not wait until more officers die before we pluck up the courage to take a good look around. In the meantime the New Zealand People’s Party want to give the Senior Station Officer the power to decide when and where general duty officers should carry firearms. Going along with this we want to see increased firearms training for officers so they are comfortable using their weapons. The Police need to be able to safely go about their work and the New Zealand public need be confident in their police force.
Get Tough on Young People Committing Robbery & Violence in Our Communities
It use to be that only the hardened of criminals committed armed robbery and serious assault. We use the term “daylight robbery” as a quip about being ripped off. But for an increasing section of the community, daylight armed robbery is a very real threat and a far too common occurrence. Young people in particular know more and more they can get away with it as police resourcing is so stretched the likelihood of them getting caught is practically zero. And for the ones whom are caught the youth justice system, particularly for young offenders around 10 - 13, has become so stretched the cracks for them to fall through are huge.
The New Zealand People’s Party will:
- Get tough on serious youth offending by making it a priority for Police
- Tougher sentencing for youth committing aggravated robbery and burglary
- Resource the youth justice system so offenders are dealt with and don't fall through the cracks
Get Tough on Youth Offending
The increased resources we are providing Police will strengthen their presence in the community. We need to intervene with youth offenders sooner and break the current trend of escalation. Youth need a strong guiding hand to help them out of the cycle of crime that feeds the record number of inmates our prison system is facing. A tough stance is what is needed to make our communities safe. Setting youth offending as a priority for the New Zealand Police will be investment into New Zealand's future as the more we get out of crime at a young age, the less long term offenders we have to deal with.
Mandatory Sentencing Guidelines for Serious Youth Offenders
Giving the adult and youth courts firm instructions of what is expected of them, combined with the resources required will break the back of the youth offending problem. Currently the statistics do not reflect the scale of the problem as only a small fraction of youth offenders reach the threshold to be recorded. Aggravated robbery and aggravated burglary are becoming increasingly common place in New Zealand communities and the offenders are getting younger and younger. By forcing the hand of the justice system we can make our communities a safer place and send a message to offenders that their actions will have serious consequences.
Address the Plague of Robbery Our Community is Facing
Communities are being tormented by unruly youth assaulting our people in the street and robbing hard working shop and restaurants. New Zealand is suppose to be a safe country and the neglect the current government has led us to the lawless situation we currently find ourselves in. We will ensure violent youths are dealt with through tougher sentencing and intensive rehabilitation programs to break the cycle of crime. Closing the cracks in the youth justice system and instilling tougher sentencing mandates for the worst youth offenders will make our communities safe.
Self Defence Laws That Protect Victims of Crime
Small business and property owners are increasingly finding themselves in the sights of violent criminals. With policing resources stretched thinly, the response time to these incidents is far too long. More and more New Zealanders are finding themselves in the position to make heat of the moment judgement calls about how to keep them and their families safe. The New Zealand People’s Party do absolutely not condone the public arming themselves. However there is a need to adjust the laws so that honest, hard working kiwis, whom find themselves victims of horrific crime do not themselves end up in court.
The New Zealand People’s Party will:
- Shift the self defence burden of proof to the prosecution
Protect Victims of Crime
The threat of criminal charges is the last thing anyone wants to think about when confronted in their home or business, however we face a situation where criminals know people are more afraid of the legal consequences of fighting back than they are of them. The recent rise in aggravated robbery small business are facing is a result of the perpetrators knowing that in the balance of probabilities they will probably get away free and clear. The current law sees ‘self defence’ as a defence in court only after charges have been brought. This re-victimises people who have already been through traumatic events. A small change in the law will mean it is up to the prosecutors to prove the forced used in self defence was excessive. The intention of this is charges will only be pursued when police and prosecutors are satisfied that force used in self defence was excessive or unjust. A change in the law will make it easier for officers to use discretion to decide when to pursue charges.
A Comprehensive Firearms Register
In 2016 40,000 firearms were imported into New Zealand, that is a lot of guns for a small country. Particularly for one with only 240,000 odd licensed firearms holders. Where these 40,000 fire arms are today is anyones guess. While New Zealand has pretty stringent licensing rules by world standards. Our lack of firearms register means that there is no way to keep track of legal firearms once they reach New Zealand’s shores. It is an interesting subject as most New Zealander’s are supportive of gun control however the current government has been reluctant to do anything about the dramatic increase in guns held by criminals.
New Zealand People’s Party will:
- - Create a register of all guns in New Zealand
- - Give Police the power to conduct spot checks of gun owners secure storage facilities
- - Restrict the type of guns collectors are able to keep in working condition
Create A Comprehensive Firearms Register
All most all of New Zealand’s holders of a firearms license in New Zealand are good law abiding Kiwis. However with the rising levels of crime, more and more gun owners are finding themselves the victims of burglary. It is these stolen weapons that are being traded by criminals and used to commit crimes. A simple register of legal guns and their owners will make it easy for authorities to keep track of how many firearms are in the possession of each firearms license holder.
Increased Police Power To Inspect Collections
This data base will mean NZ Police can keep track of growing collections and the ability to conduct spot checks will ensure owners secure storage facilities are adequately expanding with their collection. The current system means Police are only able to conduct inspections when a license holder renews their license or applies to be able to own other categories of weapons.
Complete Ban on Semi Automatic Firearms
The New Zealand People’s Party do not believe anyone should be able to own Semi Automatic firearms in working condition or easily able to be reconfigured to working condition. The risk imposed by these weapons is far out weighs the rights of licensed owners to keep these weapons. While this may only affect a limited number of owners, we believe it is better to put restrictions in place before we have a problem with them. Proactive gun laws are the best way to reduce the flow of legal firearms to the black market and protect future generations.
Long Term Strategy To Reduce Reoffending Through Rehabilitation
A Corrections System That Actually Reduces Crime
Earlier this year New Zealand’s Prison population reached it’s highest ever level when it broke the 10,000 inmates mark. With Maori disproportionately making up more the 5,000 of these inmates it is time we as a country took a serious look at the problem. The current government has described the New Zealand prisons as a “moral and fiscal failure”, yet it continues to spend billions of tax payer dollars building more beds for prisoners. This shameful display of wilful ignorance is why we are in a situation when Maori are 11 times more likely to be held on remand than non Maori.
A goal of the New Zealand People’s Party is to move the criminal justice system away from a punitive punishment based system to one that has a sole focus on rehabilitating offenders. It is the firm belief of the New Zealand People’s Party that sentencing needs to be less about arbitrary length sentences that reflect societies desire to punish offenders and more about actually rehabilitating people so they can break the cycle that sees them reoffend.
We envisage a system where by offenders are dealt with in a way that maximises the rehabilitative outcomes for the offender and the community. Their sentencing will be based on however best to achieve this positive outcome.
New Zealand People’s Party will:
- - Community and home detention sentenced offenders will receive the same access to rehabilitation services as prison inmates.
- - Judges will work with sentencing panels that put together a sentencing plan that concludes when the panel is satisfied the chances of re offending are minimal.
- - Start with our youngest offenders and with success roll out the scheme to other age groups and offence types.
Increase Access to Rehabilitative Services
While the current data around community and home based detention shows impressive results, the rehabilitative resources available to those serving these sentences is significantly limited compared to those serving time behind bars. Making these resources available to these offenders without having to set foot in a prison, will have positive impacts on their post sentence rehabilitation and reintegration. Judges shouldn’t have to sentence offenders to prison just to ensure they get adequate rehabilitation resources. The corrections system is currently doing the best it can with the limited resources the current government have provided them. They are more than happy to shell out billions of dollars to build new prisons but claim austerity when the sector asks for comparatively modest funding to achieve real outcomes.
Multi Disciplinary Sentencing Panels
Our current sentencing system means judges aren’t meant to determine a sentence type and length on desired rehabilitative outcomes. The sentences are suppose to have a deterrent affect on the wider community but there is little evidence to show this happens. New Zealand People’s Party want to overhaul our sentencing system so that main goal is reducing reoffending and reintegrating into the community. We still want to see victims rights protected. If we do this correctly we believe victims will get onboard knowing that the system is there to make sure what happened to them doesn’t happen again.
We envisage a system where sentencing boards, much like a parole board, work with the judge in the sentencing phase and put together a sentencing strategy that ultimately sees the offender rehabilitated and released. There will be flexibility in the sentence so that if an offender makes exceptional progress in their rehabilitation they can be released into the community via home or community detention if necessary. However if the sentencing board feel no tangible progress is being made by the offender turn their life around, they can extend the sentence to achieve these outcomes or protect the community.