ACT proposes three strikes for burglaries

April 21st, 2014 at 7:50 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

More than 2000 families will return home this Easter weekend to find they have been burgled, and says it is the only NZ political party to offer a serious solution.

Party leader Jamie Whyte outlined its policy on the crime today, confirming that burglars will spend three years in prison if convicted of the crime for a third time under its policy.

Three years for a third strike sounds about right.

The maximum sentence for burglary is ten years imprisonment. The for burglary policy would send all burglars to prison for at least three years without parole if convicted of the offence three times, whether it be in one burglary spree or over many years.

The idea is that burglars stop burgling. With only 2% of burglaries resulting in imprisonment, then the risk of getting caught and convicted doesn’t outweigh the benefits of being a burglar.

Mr Whyte said burglars convicted of one or two charges of burglary will not see any change to their sentence, except that a judge would warn the offender of the serious penalty of another offence.

That’s a key thing. After the second strike they need to be aware that a third strike will result in a significant jail term.

Mr Whyte said currently about 4000 New Zealanders are sitting on a first strike, 32 on a second strike and no one has been convicted of a third strike offence under the three strikes for violent crimes policy.

That’s a great success. We don’t want people getting a third strike.

The policy is modelled on a three strikes for burglary law introduced in England and Wales in 1999. Burglary in England has since dropped by 35 per cent since the introduction of the three strikes. After a third conviction for burglary offenders in England are imprisoned for three years with parole.

So this is a policy introduced by the UK Labour Party. If National wins re-election I am optimistic they would agree to support this policy, if ACT make it a key policy for their support. NZ Labour will oppose it I suspect – as they also opposed the three strikes law for serious violent and sexual offending.

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92 Responses to “ACT proposes three strikes for burglaries”

  1. beautox (430 comments) says:

    Is three years meant to be tough? I’d make it three years for the first offence. Or at least mandatory jail for first offence. And at least 5 years for third. Pah, no wonder the underclass think they can get away with crime, because, well, they can. Legally.

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  2. Redbaiter (7,605 comments) says:

    I’m bemused by this three strikes stuff.

    Why not one bloody strike?

    Weak and ineffective justice system is betraying law abiding NZers.

    Sack all judges and make them re-apply for their jobs.

    (cue wet liberals with their “jail doesn’t stop crime” BS. It does if you jail them long enough)

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  3. mikenmild (10,681 comments) says:

    If we are concerned about burgalries then we should perhaps look at more effective ways of deterring and catching burglars than a simplistic approach to sentencing that is presumed to have some deterrent effect.

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  4. Farmerpete (39 comments) says:

    Have to get the police interested in turning up first!

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  5. kowtow (7,614 comments) says:

    Three years without parole?

    Bullshit!

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2329396/Judge-criticised-police-career-burglar-spared-jail-despite-having-19-previous-convictions-burglary.html

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  6. Johnboy (14,961 comments) says:

    Making it a law that homeowners get a $10,000 bonus for saving the taxpayers money if they kill the perps in the act of burglary would be the best way to deal with the problem! :)

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  7. JC (909 comments) says:

    In some respects burglary is an awful crime, worse than a random bash because it destroys people’s sense of home security. Kids have a very bad time of it because of the fear of someone in the night and old peoples’ confidence can be destroyed and send them into retirement homes long before they need them.

    A burglar doesn’t necessarily stop at burglary.. its simply a training ground for worse crimes to come.. as in home invasion, bashing, sexual crimes and murder.

    I accept first time offenders need different treatment to 2nd or more offences but the crime should really be assessed in the same way as home invasion and rape. Ten years for the second offence and life for the third.

    JC

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  8. Fisiani (953 comments) says:

    Being convicted for three burglaries shows that you are a burgler, a criminal, a low life. Three years in jail seems reasonable and on release another conviction should mean another three years. Obviously this will be opposed by The criminal hugging Greens and Labour

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  9. duggledog (1,349 comments) says:

    Just like when they figured out people owing thousands in fines could be prohibited from leaving the country – only recently – you have to wonder why this isn’t law in a modern country that experiences a burglary every ten minutes

    Reinforces my conviction that this is the easiest place in the world to commit crime with the most lenient (if at all) penalties.

    Like I said in GD it’s a pity it was delivered by a guy who just can’t sell it

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  10. georgedarroch (316 comments) says:

    Usual idiotic stuff from ACT. They think burglars think about things like sentence lengths – they don’t. They think about their chance of being caught.

    Always, ACT look to the courts, when they should be looking to the police. But, it’s an election year…

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  11. Johnboy (14,961 comments) says:

    Three years in jail equals about $270,000, a 9mm in the ear equals about 5c. What makes all you God bothering do gooders suspect that us practical folk want to waste that sort of dosh on your stupid schemes?

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  12. Graeme Edgeler (3,267 comments) says:

    That’s a key thing. After the second strike they need to be aware that a third strike will result in a significant jail term.

    That’s how the three strikes for violent offences regime works. It is not how the three strikes for burglary is proposed to work.

    Under this proposal, convictions for burglary entered before the law was in force count as first and second strikes. There will be no warning from a judge, like under the current three strikes regime.

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  13. Johnboy (14,961 comments) says:

    You talk shit Edgeler like all lawyers. Just give the populace the nod to deal with the bastards. If you catch a thief on your property you get to kill the bastard no questions asked. Burglary would cease to exist Lawyers would be less in demand.
    Police budgets could be slashed after a couple of years. Folk could get to walk around the streets without fearing for their lives as long as they never strayed on to someone elses property! :)

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  14. Chuck Bird (4,682 comments) says:

    ACT is going to do more than simplest stuff like this to get traction. I have been the victim of burglaries and my car being broken into in the past more than once.

    It obviously pissed me off. One time I managed to grab his ankle as he was going over a high fence to the neighbours. He managed to get free and was lucky to get away from the neighbors dog. If I caught him I would dealt to him. This was a few years back.

    I supported David Garrett’s three strikes for violent crime and I still do. It was not perfect. No legislation is but some thought went into it.

    Most young criminals whether it is shoplifting, graffiti, breaking into cars or burglary will continue offending until they get caught.

    To say someone 14 to 17 who gets caught doing a string of burglaries should get a minimum of 3 years is not only stupid but will not become law. I am pretty sure that under the current 3 strike policies someone has to get warning each time they go to court and not get the max without parole if they go to court for 3 offenses that qualify for a strike. If sounds to me like it is proposed that not violent offenders be treated more harshly than violent offender.

    I say ACT has to give more thought to this legislation. David Garrett debated the his 3 strikes proposal and when around the country addressing criticism. The criticism that had merit he took on board.

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  15. Graeme Edgeler (3,267 comments) says:

    If you catch a thief on your property you get to kill the bastard no questions asked.

    Not even: “was it a thief?”

    Anyway, I wasn’t making a claim about your point, merely pointing out that DPF’s description of ACT’s policy was misleading. ACT hasn’t adopted your policy.

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  16. Johnboy (14,961 comments) says:

    Nail upside down fish hooks along the top of your fence Chuck.

    Gets the fuckers all the time! :)

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  17. Rex Widerstrom (5,258 comments) says:

    whether it be in one burglary spree or over many years.

    That’s just stupid posturing.

    1. Three strikes is predicated on a person commiting a strike offence, being punished and being warned that’s a first strike; if they offend again they’re then told their next offence will result in the third strike penalty. Someone who commits three burglaries in a spree doesn’t get the warnings. That, by definition, isn’t a three strike law.

    2. More importantly, a person who is a recidivist burglar over many years, with possibly a prison term or two already under their belt, is a far different prospect to someone who goes on a crime spree. Often, that can be the result of a personal crisis of some sort – drug addiction, family breakdown, youthful stupidity, alcoholism… which need to be addressed if the risk of recidivism is to be reduced.

    You simply can’t say three burglaries in a night, or even a week, committed by someone with no serious previous convictions, is always equivalent to the same number of burglaries committed after capture, punishment and intervention. It’s nonsensical.

    I’d hoped Act under its new leadership would return to its roots as a liberal party. No such luck… yet again it’s been captured by the knee jerkers of the Sensible Sentencing Trust and their ilk. And it will lose support from fiscally conservative social liberals who’re fed up with National and instead try to win over those National supporters who already have fevered dreams of Judith Collins. And fail.

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  18. Graeme Edgeler (3,267 comments) says:

    To say someone 14 to 17 who gets caught doing a string of burglaries should get a minimum of 3 years is not only stupid but will not become law.

    ACT’s policy exempts burglaries committed by those under 18 from third strike consequences. The burglaries will count as first or second strikes, bu only burglaries committed by those aged at least 18 will be eligible for the automatic 3 year non-parole proposed under ACT’s policy.

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  19. eszett (2,333 comments) says:

    With only 2% of burglaries resulting in imprisonment, then the risk of getting caught and convicted doesn’t outweigh the benefits of being a burglar.

    Wouldn’t that be an argument for enhancing the police force to investigate and deal with burglaries?
    Seems to me the problem is not the length of the punishment, but rather getting punished in the first place.

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  20. Johnboy (14,961 comments) says:

    If a bastard is on your property without good reason he is either a thief or a prospective thief Graeme.

    For far to many years we have been too soft on crime in this country. The shithole we have now is the result.

    I put it all down to the legal profession maximising their earning capacity at the expense of the rest of the population! :)

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  21. Unity (283 comments) says:

    Anyone who has been burgled will laugh at 3 years for the third strike. It should be much more than that for the first strike. Obviously Jamie Whyte hasn’t been burgled. Deter them from the start. It just might make others think twice before they commit the first offence. We are too soft on criminals.

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  22. Rich Prick (1,542 comments) says:

    As someone who has been burgled three times, I think the victim ought to be allowed to empty out the perp’s house (or the kid’s parents’ house) and garage, see how they like that. Fuckers. Turners Auctions share price would react well.

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  23. NK (1,067 comments) says:

    You talk shit Edgeler like all lawyers. Just give the populace the nod to deal with the bastards. If you catch a thief on your property you get to kill the bastard no questions asked. Burglary would cease to exist Lawyers would be less in demand.

    Graeme rarely, if ever, talks shit.

    But you, on the other hand, have just written shit.

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  24. Graeme Edgeler (3,267 comments) says:

    If a bastard is on your property without good reason he is either a thief or a prospective thief Graeme.

    So can we ask the question: “was this person a bastard who was on your property without good reason?” or not?

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  25. Johnboy (14,961 comments) says:

    But he responds NK! :) :)

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  26. SPC (5,392 comments) says:

    Crime has fallen in many countries, despite divergent policy directions.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-27067615

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  27. Johnboy (14,961 comments) says:

    If we had far more sensible laws Graeme he would hopefully be a dead bastard and his offspring would most likely decide to follow another career path rather than follow in Dad’s footsteps.

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  28. ZenTiger (425 comments) says:

    GST raised from 10% to 15%: Strike 1.
    Income Tax Thresholds kept way below inflation rates. Strike 2.

    Can’t be long before IRD is sent to the slammer.

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  29. ZenTiger (425 comments) says:

    @Johnboy: Are you sure he knew his Dad?

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  30. thedavincimode (6,531 comments) says:

    I blame the people that own things. The burglars are the victims here.

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  31. Johnboy (14,961 comments) says:

    The burglars and their prey are all the victims of the greedy, grasping lawyers Leonardo! :)

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  32. publicwatchdog (2,103 comments) says:

    Wheres’ ACT’s ‘three strikes’ policy for ‘WHITE COLLAR’ criminals?

    ‘One law for all’ – sort of thing?

    Penny Bright

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  33. Chuck Bird (4,682 comments) says:

    Do any lawyers here think that lawyer who acknowledges on the phone to the other party that his client has mental health problems could be breaking some lawyer’s rules? He tried to get me to settle for a pittance and when I refused he dumped his client after milking him him for $80. His client think he can now get legal aid.

    I know there are some good lawyers but there unfortunately are as many totally unethical ones. I must agree with Johnboy on that.

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  34. Nostalgia-NZ (4,907 comments) says:

    Maybe if you got a Lawyer Chuck you’d propose a higher settlement offer instead of spitting the dummy at the offer made to you and moaning about it while ending up in the same old place – no where.

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  35. Mobile Michael (413 comments) says:

    Miss three years of rates payments, go to jail. And forfeit home.

    That’ll sort out the problem, Penny.

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  36. slijmbal (1,211 comments) says:

    As usual the discussion is split into factions.

    There are those who see stupid little d****heads committing crime because of a lack of common sense and maturity which typically kicks in at some point but not always. These obvious victims of society deserve our tolerance and should not be punished for their crimes. Cue irony – they are not victims and need their behaviour modified and not implicity supported.

    We also have those who see the evil little s**ts who are probably sociopaths at best if we’re being kind. They abuse the system and will continue to do so until the costs of doing so become excessive.

    I have known a number of criminals. Whilst most 1st, 2nd or 3rd offenders can be just dumb after that it’s a choice and most of my personal experience is that they are very capable in terms of gaming the system. One classmate gleefully outlined how dim social workers and lawyers were. They had only disdain for the system that was trying to help them. They only started worrying about their actions once they started getting locked up for serious time.

    Despite the current thinking that deterrents do not work I paraphrase Theodore Dalrymple in that the criminal classes are exceedingly effective at using deterrents – threats of violence seem to work for instance to control other criminals. What a surprise – cue irony again.

    Let us be blunt deterrents do work to a decent extent and should not be ignored as a tool in crime management.

    Career criminals generally manage their risks and crimes around such deterrents. Burglars tend to be career burglars.

    Lock the bastards up. Protect us from these shits.

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  37. brad123 (18 comments) says:

    Is retrospective criminal justice legislation allowed in this country?

    According to the ACT party Q & A document, they want to include burglary convictions prior to the proposed law as 1st and 2nd strikes, thus as mentioned above someone could get a third strike for burglary with no formal warning. Can those more legally versed than myself spare some though on this matter?

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  38. F E Smith (3,302 comments) says:

    First, the English law only applies to house burglaries. I haven’t seen anything to suggest that the proposed NZ law would also only apply to burglaries of the home, so it would in fact be quite a bit tougher than the English law.

    Secondly, it is sad that a right wing libertarian party has to adopt the policies of the most authoritarian UK government in 100 years, and a Labour one at that, in order to be relevant.

    I seem to remember that ACT was doing its best in the polls when it concentrated on economic issues, which is why I have generally supported it.

    I have little issue with David Garrett’s Three Strikes law, as it applies to violent crime. The low rate of burglary detection by Police (and I see that the Herald says 15% are solved, but DPF says only 2% result in imprisonment; those two figures don’t seem to match up) appears to be far more of an issue than the sentencing policy. Even if this was passed, there is nothing to say that the rate of detection would improve.

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  39. UrbanNeocolonialist (181 comments) says:

    around 20% clearance rate for burglaries, so about 5 burglaries before getting caught on average (though I am sure that there are a lot of experienced pros that do far far better). Guessing cost to country is probably $20-50k for every one that gets caught (much of cost being what we all pay for insurance and security).

    Prisons don’t seem to achieve much, people aren’t afraid of them and they have little deterence value for recidivists as they don’t carry much stigma for a big section of our society.

    How about:
    1st strike: conventional punishments, home detention, community service, fines etc + very short stint of non-scarring corporal punishment like being tasered, perhaps a brief pain-causing injection. Just as a very small taste of what will happen if re-offend.
    2nd strike: a few hours of corporal punishment/torture, spread over a few days to a week.
    3nd strike; corporal punishment + lose a testicle or ovary – not something that will mess up your life, relatively quick and cheap to administer, but makes a point.
    4th remove other testicle or ovary, no more fun sexy times, no family.
    5th jail, throw away key.

    threat of even partial emasculation would probably stop most male youth offending.

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  40. iMP (2,236 comments) says:

    Yeah, let’s legalize drugs and not ban addictive synthetic highs, and just punish with incarceration the addicts we catch.

    Most burgs are about drugs addiction and getting bucks to feed a habit. Deal with that, not filling our prisons.

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  41. Rex Widerstrom (5,258 comments) says:

    @Graeme Edgeler explains:

    ACT’s policy exempts burglaries committed by those under 18 from third strike consequences

    But the story quoted by DPF says:

    The three strikes for burglary policy would send all burglars to prison for at least three years without parole if convicted of the offence three times

    ACT exaggerating, or the Herald making a hash of reporting again?

    Meanwhile Rich Prick suggests:

    As someone who has been burgled three times, I think the victim ought to be allowed to empty out the perp’s house (or the kid’s parents’ house) and garage, see how they like that.

    As a proponent of Restorative Justice, I like that idea. And if the proceeds didn’t replace your stuff, put them to work and garnishee their wages till you were fully recompensed. There’s far less glamour in scrubbing public toilets and then handing over your pay packet than doing a stretch in prison. And it’s far easier to address, as part of their sentence, any substance abuse or similar issues that may drive the offending.

    All ACT’s policy does is rob taxpayers of $270,000 in incarceration costs and hands nothing back to the taxpayer who was robbed, who’s thus doubly victimised.

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  42. Jack5 (4,584 comments) says:

    Johnboy posted at 9.09:

    Nail upside down fish hooks along the top of your fence Chuck.

    Gets the fuckers all the time!

    What about the young cops and the dog going over the wall because they think a burglar might be on the other side?

    Is there any legal control on the sort of man-traps you can put on your own property? Could injured cops charge you? If I was a young cop and a partner had his or her hands ripped up by fence-top fish hooks, I would be tempted to smack the house owner with a truncheon, in mistake for the burglar of course.

    Regardless, a dog is a good deterrent: a German shepherd or mastiff or Dobermann, or even something that looks grunty like a a bulldog or Staffy, or just makes a lot of noise, like a larger terrier.

    The electronic surveillance devices now available and linkable to the internet are also useful, and increasingly affordable.

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  43. DJP6-25 (1,268 comments) says:

    It would fit well with a policy of drug legalization. Thus tackling the burglary problem at both ends. Many are drug fueled by way of paying for the perpetrator’s habit.

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  44. PaulL (5,873 comments) says:

    Gee, there’s a lot of people talking crap on here today. Luckily some nuggets in there, which include:
    1. The policy only applies to those over 18 on getting their third strike
    2. The policy as proposed is retrospective. That’s a bad idea, and needs to be changed, we don’t want some political parties getting the idea that we agree with retrospective law changes
    3. The policy as proposed can catch someone for three offences all in one go, rather than needing a warning, then a repeat, then a warning, then a repeat. That’s probably also a bad idea and needs changing.
    4. A policy like this is no use without also increasing the clearance rates for burglary investigations. Is it a case of increasing police resourcing, or do they actually know who did most of the crimes and don’t have time/inclination/laws to deal with it? I seem to recall some suggestion that 80% of property crimes are committed by a very small group of people (the ones this law would hopefully lock up)
    5. We also need some attempt to address some of the prompters of crime. That is to say, many people commit crimes to feed their (illegal) drug habit or due to mental health issues. – so both decriminalise drugs, and provide better treatment options for drug and mental health issues.

    That would be a reasonable and comprehensive policy. Where’s Jamie Whyte on that?

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  45. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    Has Widerstrom been deported from Australia?

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  46. Pete George (22,804 comments) says:

    ACT links:

    Speech: Three strikes for burglary, three years jail
    Q&A: Three Strikes For Burglary
    POLICY: Three Strikes & Jail For Burglary (PDF)

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  47. Nukuleka (209 comments) says:

    Whilst recognising the need to deter would-be burglars I am also mindful of the COST to taxpayers of incarcerating large numbers of miscreants. Surely our aim should be to find more cost-effective alternative deterrents then imprisonment. Come on- be creative and stop trying to wrack up further ways of spending taxpayers’ money! Have a three strikes policy but don’t have imprisonment as the punishment.

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  48. Pete George (22,804 comments) says:

    “Three years in jail equals about $270,000″
    - would that sort of money be best to go towards more and longer sentences, or towards prevention, apprehension and conviction under the current laws?

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  49. big bruv (13,271 comments) says:

    I am currently fostering three additional dogs, two of them are German Shepherds. This makes the total of German Shepherds on my property to three.

    Anybody who fancies trying to burgle our property is more than welcome to give it a crack. While I detest gun freaks (more guns is never the answer) I do believe that if I catch a burglar in the act (something I often think about) I should be allowed to let the dogs have a fucking good chew before I pick up what is left of the scum and beat the shit out of him/her.

    At some stage I might even call the cops just for a laugh, I will take great care to assure the cops that I do not have guns on the property and that there really is no hurry to get to my place but that if they happen to be passing they might want to call in and pick up what is left of the low life.

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  50. dime (9,423 comments) says:

    “(more guns is never the answer) ” – unless you’re being shot at and you don’t have one.. Or society has let the mighty government take all guns of private citizens and has turned into some nutty regime…

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  51. dime (9,423 comments) says:

    To any of you wannabe hard asses who say the first offence should be 5 years etc. I hope you get wrongfully accused and do that stretch. Enjoy. Personally, I think it’s safer if it takes three.

    The part of the law I don’t like is the strikes can all happen in one spree.

    As for “let’s put more money into prevention” , don’t we already spend billions trying to help these animals achieve something in life? I don’t think a few don’t steal ads will make a difference.

    I knew plenty of shitbags growing up. They all new the risks and the sentences. The crims I knew weren’t stupid. Most would stop at a second strike.

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  52. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    We have guns, a pitbull, and some awful home-made armaments. I have motorbikes (European), quads, and plenty of the usual rural necessities, including a heavily electrified road fence, not to mention working dogs that are not averse to giving strangers a good snap. Even so, if these thieving arseholes want something . . . they will find a way to take it. Look what happened to John Banks’ Harley a few years ago. Lock the bastards up!

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  53. duggledog (1,349 comments) says:

    Watch one of those many many NZ cop shows the free channels seem to play all the time. Check out how often the police are filmed running around after teenagers (generally in Rotorua or Upper Hutt) who have been thieving.

    They almost always get diversion. I don’t know how often the cops have a camera crew with them but I bet it’s not very often as the costs would be too high. Ideally you want a country where it’s not feasible for the TV company to do it. Clearly it’s not only feasible it’s a great business as there is never a shortage of criminals to film getting caught, and that’s only when they’re not filming let alone the ones that never get caught.

    NZ – petty criminal’s paradise.

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  54. Graeme Edgeler (3,267 comments) says:

    The policy as proposed is retrospective. That’s a bad idea, and needs to be changed, we don’t want some political parties getting the idea that we agree with retrospective law changes

    I don’t agree that the policy is retrospective.

    The law change being proposed is that those with the prior convictions for burglary must receive a sentence with a non-parole period of at least 3 years. The burglary for which this is imposed must be a burglary committed after the law enters into force.

    There is no retrospectivity in this proposal.

    Not saying I support it, and you could argue everyone should get at a formal warning, like the three strikes for violent offending regime, but it’s not retrospective.

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  55. GJM (58 comments) says:

    How about consecutive sentences. You know, commit 10 crimes, get 10 sentences. That should be around say 30 years that they would go down for, at which point they should have leant their lesson, or at least have slowed down a bit.
    Allowing your house to be a free-fire zone would also reduce hot burglaries and home invasions, and some repeat offending.
    some people are still in the 1950s when burglaries were a rare thing. those days are gone and not coming back due to the feral scum we have bred.
    The police also need to do their part. The last few breakins and car thefts, I only reported if it was worthwhile claiming insurance on. They of course never bothered to turn up, and relied on the crim discovering religion and coming in to the station to confess. It is not a very effective tactic. The actual crime rate is much higher than the stats, as I am not alone in my view.

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  56. Peter (1,578 comments) says:

    First offence is a serious fine.
    Second offence three years jail.
    Third offence 20 years.

    There is no excuse for burglary. There’s a very simple rule even the most terminally thick can grasp – if it isn’t yours, don’t touch it.

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  57. Nostalgia-NZ (4,907 comments) says:

    There’s a bit of a quiet revolution going on within Corrections as they are encouraged to meet Anne Tolley’s reduction in recidivism numbers. The senior staff are both motivated and realistic and this includes some from the ‘old squads baton brigades. Their take is that they don’t want to see people coming back. I was present when one explained this to an incalcitrant whose has struggled with depression, possibly mild psychosis and re-offended many times, that he didn’t want to see his money spent on keeping the man in prison anymore. He wanted him to get his act together and make something of the rest of his life, offering that he would rather see the $93,000 per year spent on the elderly and children, hip replacements and education in particular – though he language and delivery was a lot grittier than described here. Along with that was fair criticism of the man’s life choices and the situations he tended to put himself in then blame others – in short no hugs and kisses and a very clear message that it was up to the individual himself. The retrospective aspect of this proposed policy is a problem, in some ways it may simply be an old horse saddled up again hoping to take advantage of the public mood. However it may turn out, and if there are to become statutory maximums after a number of offences, there should be thought given to the zero to 3 concept, where if the inmate takes advantage of help offered he or she have the opportunity for parole and if she or he want to ‘maintain a position’ they serve the full 3 years. Of course as with everything we need the correct figures, but maybe for a practical change, input from Corrections themselves because it is them that the results are expected from.

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  58. Nostalgia-NZ (4,907 comments) says:

    I see a lot of anecdotal claims that police don’t turn up for burglaries. That isn’t my understanding. In fact currently they not only investigate, fingerprint etc but also offer security advice for the future. On the same note, for what ever reason, crime rates are falling and that isn’t because police are not doing their jobs but rather because they are.

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  59. martinh (1,155 comments) says:

    I didnt realise Labour had opposed the three strike law on violent offending and sexual crimes, Labour really are now limp wristed pimpsqueaks.

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  60. Psycho Milt (2,261 comments) says:

    The low rate of burglary detection by Police (and I see that the Herald says 15% are solved, but DPF says only 2% result in imprisonment; those two figures don’t seem to match up) appears to be far more of an issue than the sentencing policy.

    Exactly. I would have expected a party led by a philosopher to consider what the problem is that they’re actually trying to solve, and if the problem is “too many burglaries” you’d think the low detection rate and the low imprisonment rate (2%? Really?) would be the places to start. The three strikes thing kind of addresses the low imprisonment rate, but the real question is, if the max sentence for burglary is 10 years’ imprisonment, why are so many burglars not being imprisoned at all?

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  61. flipper (3,550 comments) says:

    I am neither for nor against Whyte’s proposal.

    BUT

    1. It is designed to be, and is populist.
    2. It will make little or no difference whatsoever to burglary rates.
    3.. The major beneficiaries will be the communities in which new prisons are built – or motorists spared the unwanted/unneeded attention of traffic Nazis.
    4. The once vaunted military/industrial complex has been surpassed in USA by the Police/legal/judicial/prisons complex, explaining why employment intensive new prisons are actively sought by impecunious areas.

    Any serious burglar is driven by one simple imperative – access to money to barter for illicit substances.

    It is hardly ever personal – for them.

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  62. Graeme Edgeler (3,267 comments) says:

    There is no excuse for burglary. There’s a very simple rule even the most terminally thick can grasp – if it isn’t yours, don’t touch it.

    You have a misunderstanding of what the offence of burglary involves. It does include entering a home with intention to steal, but it also covers other things, like buying a joint of marijuana from a drug dealer operating from behind the fence of an enclosed car yard so as not to be seen.

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  63. peterwn (3,156 comments) says:

    Jack5 – Mantraps could be a tricky one. Presumably while visible deterrents like visible razor wire or high walls topped with broken glass are OK, anything that is invisible would probably be classed as a mantrap eg very large gin traps, live doorknobs, etc.

    There is also a legal difference between wild and domesticated animals. So a viscous dog or a Jersey bull in an enclosed yard may be OK (especially with a warning sign) but not a lion or croc.

    Just like there is a fire ‘triangle’ (heat, combustible material and oxygen), there seems to me a burglary ‘triangle’ (security, detection and deterrence). Locks and alarms only go so far (without very expensive and unsightly reinforcement), similarly with detection, so this leaves deterrence. ACT does seem to have made a rational and economic case to wind up deterrence and this does seem to be worth a go. One concern could be that motor vehicle thefts could increase, so this should be included in the policy too – the consequences on victims is just as bad. For example an addict who steals a tradie’s van for the gearbox to sell to fund his habit – pity the police dog helping with his arrest did not bite a bit harder.

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  64. RRM (9,445 comments) says:

    Excellent!

    After a year of good behaviour, let them have a lid for their toilet bucket. Fucking filth.

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  65. tedbear (127 comments) says:

    “Serious Solution”?
    Really?
    This is the best our punishers can come up with?

    Oh what joy those 2000 burgled families will feel.

    I’m currently holidaying in a rural part of North Wales where just last night the local store was invaded by machette wielding robbers and thugs.
    All the good people around here are calling for these thugs to have at least one hand chopped off.
    Now that’s a serious solution.

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  66. Elaycee (4,301 comments) says:

    (and I see that the Herald says 15% are solved, but DPF says only 2% result in imprisonment; those two figures don’t seem to match up)

    Really? I’m not surprised at all – to me the numbers are evidence our Judges are limp wristed and not willing to put burglars inside for their crimes. And that is pathetic.

    Anything that gets criminals off the streets for their crimes, has to be a good thing. Jail is not only a punishment (as it should be) but also a chance for the community to be rid of these morons for the duration of their sentence. But that won’t stop the panty waists in our midst from trying to paint burglars as ‘nice boys / nice girls’ who all deserve a second chance. Or a third. And, of course, that’s bollocks.

    Actions have consequences. If some moron commits a crime, they’ve rolled the dice. And good on ACT for this initiative – I suspect a very large chunk of mainstream NZ will support it.

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  67. Chuck Bird (4,682 comments) says:

    I heard John Key on with Mike Hosking this Morning. He clearly is not too enthusiastic about ACT’s in considered proposal although he will not dismiss it outright. If it is adopted by National I am sure it will not be in its current form.

    When the left suggest a way to get rid of huge income inequality is huge increases in the minimum wage we rightly rubbish the idea.

    It the solution for reduce crime was simply massive penalties it would have worked well elsewhere. It has not.

    It shows that ACT’s current leader primary focus is money. We have kiddie fiddles getting off with non custodial sentences and on occasion name suppression.

    Anyone gets upset at being burgled. However, I would be much more upset with a grandchild abused by some pervert. Punish crimes against property by all mean but protecting people particularly children against violent crime should be a priority.

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  68. Nostalgia-NZ (4,907 comments) says:

    A store invaded by machete wielding thugs in Wales is not a burglary – it’s an armed robbery.

    There are restraints on electric fences, attack dogs etc probably pay to get advice on that.

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  69. Manolo (13,357 comments) says:

    An excellent idea! Only burglars could oppose this measure.

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  70. mikenmild (10,681 comments) says:

    I oppose this measure and am not a burglar.

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  71. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    mikenmild: As you are a leftie, supposedly leeching in a State house with nothing else but envy . . . why would people like you care!

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  72. dime (9,423 comments) says:

    “I oppose this measure and am not a burglar.”

    you sure about that? you seem like a socialist to me. same shit :D

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  73. kowtow (7,614 comments) says:

    Dime says socialist same shit.

    Too right it is.

    The only difference is a burglar may sneak into your house to steal from you.Socialists do it in open daylight by getting elected by those who envy you your wealth and demand your money is transferred to them.They claim it’s about “equality”.It’s carried out through parliamentary theft called taxation.And if you object you can go to gaol.

    Those who claim to be for “equality” are actually socialist thieves. And there’s a lot of them on KB.Cultural marxists.

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  74. mikenmild (10,681 comments) says:

    Socialists differ from burglars in having public support for their policies. Widespread public support in fact. No political party in NZ opposes the socialisation of medicine and education, for example.

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  75. Chuck Bird (4,682 comments) says:

    Nostalgia-NZ (4,692 comments) says:
    April 21st, 2014 at 10:16 pm

    Maybe if you got a Lawyer Chuck you’d propose a higher settlement offer instead of spitting the dummy at the offer made to you and moaning about it while ending up in the same old place – no where.

    NOS, although you have made some very poor choices in life and want David Bain to get a couple of million of taxpayer’s money I thought you were reasonably intelligent.

    It appears you like some of the lawyers on this blog have not heard of the saying you cannot get blood out of a stone. Ask Mr Karam how much of the $500k he thinks he will actually get.

    You seem to be under the misconception that most lawyers are good negotiators. When this lawyer first got involved he took an extremely aggressive stance and made false claims of fraud which he dropped at the last moment. By the time we spoke on the phone he had milked his client for about $80k and claimed his client had only $10k left. Do you think a lawyer would have been able to increase the offer?

    He tried to grease up to me by admitting the obvious – that his client had serious mental health problems.

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  76. peterwn (3,156 comments) says:

    Chuck Bird – It is important at this stage that National downplays the potential influence of such ‘right wing’ policies from ACT etc. ACT has made the policy a bit ‘grittier’ than they expect to be acceptable, while the pre-election period allows for both parties to gauge the public acceptability of the policy. An important aspect is it is not the ‘rich pricks’ who bear the brunt of burglaries, since burglars fear monitored alarms, better locks, jewel safes, video, perception that police more likely to investigate etc but those on average incomes – they are hit very hard by burglaries.

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  77. tedbear (127 comments) says:

    Armed robbers, unarmed robbers – whatever – both involve stealing.
    Both qualify for the serious solution of get a hand chopped off.

    A good number of robbers will reoffend when let out of prison but very few will after losing a hand or two.

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  78. dime (9,423 comments) says:

    “no political party in NZ opposes the socialisation of medicine and education, for example.”

    unfortunately

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  79. Than (425 comments) says:

    It is important at this stage that National downplays the potential influence of such ‘right wing’ policies from ACT etc.

    Agreed, but Act can also do their part by keeping their policies moderate. There is plenty of room to pull National to the right without jumping straight to “poll tax” and “abolish welfare”.

    If Act went for policies like, say, student loans to have interest equal to the rate of inflation, or lowering the income thresholds for WFF eligability, these wouldn’t scare middle-ground voters. Reducing the bottom tax rates would be another good one; it reduces the taxes paid by everybody (rich and poor alike), which completely blunts the usual left-wing cries of “helping your rich mates”. The key thing is Act must avoid becoming a bogeyman for the left (as the Greens and Mana are for the right) by not demanding too sharp a move to the right.

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  80. F E Smith (3,302 comments) says:

    Elaycee,

    (and I see that the Herald says 15% are solved, but DPF says only 2% result in imprisonment; those two figures don’t seem to match up)

    Really? I’m not surprised at all – to me the numbers are evidence our Judges are limp wristed and not willing to put burglars inside for their crimes. And that is pathetic.

    Well, the ACT policy itself says that 40% of burglars receive sentences of imprisonment.  That, of course, is a statement without reference, as DPF’s also appears to be, but it still doesn’t match up.

    I am also aware that Police have (and I presume still do) in the past ‘solved’ a lot of burglaries by prison clearances, which don’t result in prosecutions but do result in the offender being identified as having committed a particular burglary.  That must necessarily result in statistics that do not reflect reality.

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  81. Recidivist_offender (22 comments) says:

    Yes people who steal physical property get hand cut off. People who take dignity and self respect with insults and bad language get tongue cut out, sexual harassment, genitalia mutilated. Death penalty for murder. Since speeders are risking lives, three strikes and right foot cut off.

    How about collective punishment?

    How about the Iron maiden for tax avoiders. Thumb screws and tooth pulling for welfare fraud. Acid bath for child abuse.

    Genital electrocution, lashings, achilles tendon cutting, knee capping, arm twisting, rib stomping.

    Gee, all these bleeding heart liberals who love community based sentences and short ‘milton hilton’ ‘ correctional facilities’ sentences.
    When will they realize that only brutal, sadistic, collective, disproportionate punishment works. Its just plain bloody sense. We need a NZ General Pinochet to come along, take over and torture and execute these leftist liberal fags. Some CIA funded Contra vigilante death squads even?

    New Zealand, right wingers!!! You’ve gone soft and progressive, take back the power and take action! Now! Or your just closet coward lefty libs then.

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  82. Nostalgia-NZ (4,907 comments) says:

    Chuck you seem to be letting your ‘feelings’ about Lawyers get in the way of a settlement. Not unusual for a sharp denials in the beginning, then eventually settlement offers. If you are positional and your lawyer is not telling you what you don’t want to hear then he or she is possibly not doing too well. I don’t know, but I’d think that the Lawyers job is to try and help dispense with the ‘domestics’ that often come with litigation so that the clear issues are defined whether or not the respondent is well or not, or if you think he is a right bastard and therefore characterises all other Lawyers. You need to work on that possibly.

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  83. mikenmild (10,681 comments) says:

    I think Recidivist_offender forgot to take his medication this morning.

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  84. RRM (9,445 comments) says:

    How about the Iron maiden for tax avoiders. Thumb screws and tooth pulling for welfare fraud. Acid bath for child abuse.

    Now, now – being forced to listen to Acid Bath would be cruel and unusual punishment. No place for that in a civilised society.

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  85. dime (9,423 comments) says:

    “How about the Iron maiden for tax avoiders.” – why are we rewarding these people? how about a 1 direction concert?

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  86. Chuck Bird (4,682 comments) says:

    NOS, have read what I said. I do not have a lawyer. Why refer to “your lawyer”? The other party now does not have a lawyer since he almost cleaned his out with his $80k fees. The debt he owed to me and another party was little more than that. The guy has already lost his case to the other party though he is talking about appealing if he could get legal aid.

    It makes no sense for me to employ a lawyer. If is did make sense that would be a lawyer who would take on my case on a results basis. By results I mean money in my hand or in my bank account not what a court awards me.

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  87. Rex Widerstrom (5,258 comments) says:

    flipper points out:

    Any serious burglar is driven by one simple imperative – access to money to barter for illicit substances.

    Absolutely. And they’re not the brightest of criminals, usually. I’ve mentioned before the mobile phone thief who planned to get around IMEI blocking by selling the stolen phones “overseas”. Amazed at such an incongruously cunning plan (since some countries, especially in Asia, don’t subscribe to IMEI blacklists) I asked him where he was selling them. Turned out it was Rottnest Island – a 45 minute ferry ride from Perth.

    He’d never threatened or intimidated anyone. His victims didn’t know their stuff was missing as he’d pinch it out of bags left in shopping trolleys or flung over the backs of seats in cafes, or lift the phone directly off a restaurant table or bar etc.

    He was already serving time for persistently stealing stuff – usually mobile phones – so the threat of a “strike” wouldn’t be much deterrence. He’d be released, and he’d keep stealing and getting caught,. So that satisfies the need to punish… but it doesn’t do a thing to reduce the number of people who’d find their phone missing and have the cost and inconvenience of replacing it.

    The only thing that would deter this nuisance – and thousands like him – would be to break his addiction to drugs. In his case it was vast quantities of cannabis and a bit of meth now and again. It could just as easily have been opiates. Then getting him a job to keep him occupied – but labouring and simple manufacturing jobs are disappearing faster than the mobile phones he had his eye on.

    While the vast majority of prison officers valiantly struggle to do their jobs, their efforts are utterly ruined by the small number who smuggle drugs (and phones, and other things) into prisons where they’re controlled by gangs and sold at inflated prices. Addicted inmates either have family members pay gang associates outside the jail (and thus owe the family) or run up debts to the gang they have to pay on release – debts they couldn’t hope to settle from an average wage, even assuming they could get a job.

    So they create more victims, get caught, and the cycle starts again.

    The only people who’ve done anything intelligent in crime prevention in a decade have been Anne Tolley and the current Corrections CEO Ray Smith. They increased in-prison drug treatment program places by something like 1500 percent.

    It’s too early for the effects of this to be flowing into crime figures just yet, but give it time and it will. National simply needs to stand by the evidence-based policies it’s implementing now Tolley is Minister, and ignore ACT’s capering about on the sidelines with this knee jerk “look how tough we are” nonsense.

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  88. straighteight (2 comments) says:

    Not tough enough
    1st offence- if for more than 1 charge, 3 years jail. If supporting a drug habit, 3 years jail. if over 25, 3 years jail. All with hard labor.
    2nd offence- 3 years jail. With hard labor.
    3rd offence- 5 years jail. With hard labor.

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  89. KevinH (1,131 comments) says:

    Finally the ACT leadership demonstrates some intelligence by campaigning on a law and order issue that resonates with the community at large instead of the nonsense discussed lately. Burglars are recidivist offenders who don’t deserve a second chance.Lock them up each time they are caught and they will get the message that the society abhors thieves.

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  90. Nostalgia-NZ (4,907 comments) says:

    Yes I recall that Chuck. I was talking about what he or she would be doing on your behalf, particularly in looking to get the issue settled.

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  91. Unity (283 comments) says:

    I certainly support that Straighteight. The message would soon get across that taking something that wasn’t theirs as well as illegally entering another person’s home, would entail jail time. Why give them a slap on the wrist with a wet bus ticket for the first offence, hoping they would be deterred from committing the second one? They need to know BEFORE they commit the FIRST offence that they will be hit hard. Having been burgled I know from first hand experience how dreadful it is and how violated one feels.

    These low-lifes need to be taught that it won’t be tolerated the first time, let alone any following criminal acts. I don’t care if they are drug addicts, gambling addicts, alcohol addicts or just short of funds. There is no acceptable excuse for their crimes.

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  92. deadrightkev (275 comments) says:

    This policy reeks of common sense. Jamie Whyte handled the delivery speech very well.

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