It is the role of Government to keep people safe in their homes and communities. That’s a duty that National understands and why, in Government, we worked hard to tackle crime and those who perpetrate it. But, after two years of the current Government, we’re seeing gangs and the crime they perpetrate becoming a bigger and bigger problem. In the last year, the number of people who have found themselves victims of crime has risen by almost 20,000.
In total, the number of people who suffered at the hands of criminals has skyrocketed to 278,644 people last year. That is a staggering number. We are not immune in our little part of New Zealand. Johnsonville saw the number of people who became victims of crime in the year to November grow by 59 and I hear stories from around our community of the problems people face with crime.
The reason we are seeing this increase is down to a Labour government that’s soft on crime. The Government is insisting on reducing the prison population, yet crime is increasing and it has no plan to reduce it. There is no doubt we will see the number of victims continue to climb under the current approach. Meanwhile gang membership has risen by 1400 under this Government, much faster than the growth in the number of frontline police officers.
Their crimes and the threats to public safety are near daily headlines in the media.
National will get tough on gangs and the misery they peddle, resourcing the police to target their crimes. We are considering a specialised unit modelled on the successful Strike Force Raptor team in New South Wales focused on supressing criminal gang behaviour and reducing harm in communities.