Bay of Plenty MP Todd Muller says the new Government's intention to repeal “three strikes” legislation spells out bad news for the Bay.
Officially called the Sentencing and Parole Reform Act 2010, the three strikes law prohibits parole for offenders facing their second strike, and imposes the maximum sentence of imprisonment without parole for third strike offences unless the court considers it would be manifestly unjust.
Forty offences – including murder, manslaughter, sexual violation, abduction, kidnapping and aggravated robbery – count as a strike under the law. “These aren't minor offences,” says Todd.
“We aren't talking about a parking ticket or a speeding infringement. These are repeat offenders committing serious crimes like aggravated robbery, sexual assault, and murder.
“As far as I'm concerned, if you are committing one of these crimes for the second or third time, you clearly need more time behind bars to reflect on your contribution to society. “Instead we see a Government looking to rush them back into society to the detriment of our community, driven by ideological principles not evidence,” says Todd. “When you look at the numbers, there are currently 8503 first strikers, 216 second strikers, and two third strikers. This suggests the deterrent is working.”
“If I were a New Zealand First voter I'd be wondering what I had voted for. “Their campaign rhetoric of being tough on crime and sentencing hasn't rung true. It must have been lost in the small print of their coalition agreement with a Labour Party who are a soft touch when it comes to law and order.”