Violent Crime

June 12th, 2014 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

The latest desperate go by Labour is to blame National for the recent killings in West Auckland.

David Cunliffe’s chief setter upper of secret trusts blogs at The Standard:

Lately West Auckland has been in the news for all the wrong reasons.  Four alleged homicides in less than a month, two domestic, one from a neighbourhood dispute and the latest allegedly involving a 12 year old and a 13 year old and the robbery of a local dairy owner have put West Auckland in the media for all of the wrong reasons.

The deaths have created a deep sense of unease.  What is going wrong?

Local MP has expressed his deep misgivings:

What kind of country have we become when a dairy owner is killed in his shop at 7 o’clock in the morning allegedly by a child with a knife?

“The young accused were well known to local shopkeepers in a retail centre where begging, intimidation and anti-social behaviour have unfortunately been all too common.

“The community is asking why there has not been a more visible police presence, with regular foot patrols to discourage law-breaking. There is a community constable delegated to cover Henderson but the officer is based in Massey. We’d like to see a community constable based in the town centre, with a shop front on the main street.

The right have responded predictably.  Cameron Slater claimed that Twyford was politicising murder.  Obviously as far as he is concerned it is better for the causes not to be debated.

This claim is deeply hypocritical.  David Farrar during 2008 posted a series of posts suggesting that violent crime was worsening and implying that the fifth Labour Government was responsible.

Firstly I blogged on official crime stats, I never went blaming the Government the day after a (alleged) murder. That is sad and desperate.

As for the “suggestion” that violent crime was worsening, well here are the stats from Stats NZ:

violentcrime

Doesn’t that tell a dramatic story.

The Government doesn’t control all, or even most, of the factors that cause crime. But it does control policy on sentencing, parole and bail, and also funding for Police and for rehabilitation.

Presland continues:

As far as I am concerned there is a political element to what is happening out west and this is why this Government’s policies should be put under the microscope.  Potential causes include the following:

  1. Poverty.  Three of the deaths occurred in one of the poorest parts of West Auckland and the alleged killer in the fourth was apparently begging.  Trickle down is not working.

  2. Policing.  I have heard that the Waitakere Criminal Investigation Unit is severely understaffed, with up to a third of positions not currently filled.  There are many dedicated police officers working in the area but if the Police does not have sufficient resources they will not be able to do their job properly.

  3. Education.  It is astounding that the Government can find $360 million to attempt to bribe teachers with promises of more pay but cannot increase funding for alternative education.  Imagine what a difference this sum could make if applied to kids who are clearly at risk.

  4. Working conditions.  The right are already saying “what about the parents”.   Sure there are bad parents around.  There are also good parents working inhumane hours just to make ends meet.

I think my favourite is that National offering $360 million to pay the best teachers more, so they can share their skills with colleagues, is somehow linked to the murder in West Auckland. And this isn’t some deranged anonymous blogger – but one of the closest advisors to the Labour Leader.

Incidentially see Mr Presland wants to play this game, there were 234 homicides (and related offences) in the last three years (2011 to 2013). In 2006 to 2008 there were 291. So does that mean Labour in its third term had failed to do anythng about poverty, policing, education and working conditions? And doesn’t the 20% drop in homicides then mean that those factors have all improved?

Of and finally, as Mr Presland is talking about West Auckland, I had a look at the violent crime stats for Waitemata Police District.

In 2008 there were 3,952 violent crimes in Waitemata. In 2013 there were 3,134. That’s a huge 26% drop.

So I say bring it on, if Labour wants to start talking violent crime in West Auckland. It will be a great way to get them ever lower in the 20s in the polls.

UPDATE: Rachel Smalley also calls out Labour for politising a tragedy. Smalley notes:

However Mr Twyford suggests that questions should be asked about why there hasn’t been a more visible police presence in Henderson with regular foot patrols to discourage law-breaking. There is a suggestion that a more visible police presence would have prevented this crime.

I don’t think you can say that a lack of police resources contributed, on some level, to Mr Kumar’s death. I don’t think that police officers walking the streets would have stopped such a senseless crime. Whoever killed Mr Kumar had no compassion or respect for humanity, and I don’t believe that you could have prevented what happened by instructing a policeman to walk down the street from time to time.

Tragedies like the murder of Arun Kumar should not be politicised. We’ve seen politicians out in Henderson. Len Brown’s been there, the Auckland mayor. Labour MPs have paid their respects. But I think the Kumar family’s greatest support right now will come from the police, not from politicians.

I don’t want to see more police on the streets. I want to see better parenting in our homes. That’s where the issue of accountability lies. Children who are loved and nurtured don’t grow up to be killers.

Labour, I think, has picked the wrong fight on this.

I think it is just a sign of Labour’s desperation.

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58 Responses to “Violent Crime”

  1. alloytoo (583 comments) says:

    When I saw “Local MP Phil Twyford’s” comments my immediate response was to quote anchorman Ron Burgundy.

    “Stay Classy Phil!”

    Then I realised it was probably impossible, and most certainly too late.

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  2. EAD (1,456 comments) says:

    Neither Labour nor National are to blame, yet at the same time both are to blame as they both endorse the same progressive policies that leads to this this type of violent behavior:

    – breakdown of the family and undermining of traditional marriage
    – encouragement of welfarism and the consequent removal of individual responsibility and creating a growing class of people that essentially have stopped living life.
    – lenient prison sentences
    – victim mentality culture – i.e. Maori are not to blame for anything as it is all the fault of the Pakeha
    – discouragement of family discipline and parents as a source of authority – smacking law case in point
    – nation changing levels of immigration that destroy community cohesion
    – massive debt and borrowing that puts stresses on families finances due to the resultant inflation especially for housing prices which creates legions of debt slaves.
    – reverse Darwinism by the encouragement of massive families in welfare households rather than the middle classes

    If you think this violent crime is going to get less common, please tell me which of the above policies/mindser will be reversed in the near future?

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  3. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    The problem is only going to resolved when we can stop the wrong people breeding for payment. So long as there is monetary gain in producing feral brats we are going to be saddled with troubles.

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  4. EAD (1,456 comments) says:

    policies/mindseT….

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  5. Unity (644 comments) says:

    Well said EAD. Successive Governments have certainly taken away all the tools parents had with regard to disciplining their children. Also, even though Paula Bennett is doing a good job with regard to welfare, I still say that they shouldn’t be paying children to have children. Anyone under a certain age, say 21 years, should not receive the DPB. It has been given a new name now but I’ve forgotten what it is. Either their parents should help bring up the baby or it should be given up for adoption. This would stop the lifestyle choice of many in its tracks. Also, while on a benefit, no-one should receive any extra for children born during this time. This would stop another choice of a means to get more money by having more and more children, often to different fathers. There are many good families longing to adopt a child but are having to go to Third World countries to get one.

    As far as child poverty is concerned, I call it child neglect. Too many parents have the money for the pub, the pokies, cigarettes etc etc but neglect their children. They will almost certainly have all the electronic paraphenalia which is a ‘must have’ these days. Parenting classes should be mandatory in secondary school because many potential mothers have absolutely no idea of how to be a good parent. Boys should also go through similar courses.

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  6. thePeoplesFlag (283 comments) says:

    “…The Government doesn’t control all, or even most, of the factors that cause crime…”

    The words of a defeatist, and a moral bankrupt.

    There is a direct correlation between growing inequality and poverty and crime. Are you saying that the policies pursued by governments you favour do not make inequality worse? Are you claiming the poverty and inequality in NZ are not the result of deliberate political choices?

    Because if you are, you are a fucking idiot, and that isn’t just my opinion – ask the world bank.

    http://siteresources.worldbank.org/DEC/Resources/Crime&Inequality.pdf

    [DPF: 20 demerits]

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  7. JamesBlake (62 comments) says:

    Hate to bring facts into the matter there IGM but less than 1/3 of all solo parents on the DPB have had children whilst on the benefit. The rest have moved onto it with kids due to the break up of existing relationships. Of those 1/3 an even smaller minority remain on it long term. Those who are in the smal minority that you want to blame for all of societies ills are them selves from a low income welfare backgrounsd and have little to no education. I know its a great dog whistle but in reality the whole breeding for profit thing has been proven to be wrong.

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  8. CJPhoto (228 comments) says:

    “Education. It is astounding that the Government can find $360 million to attempt to bribe teachers with promises of more pay but cannot increase funding for alternative education.”

    Is he supporting Charter Schools? What is ‘alternative education’?

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  9. peterwn (3,341 comments) says:

    To get the ‘three strikes’ law through, it seems that the promoters had to accept an amendment that under 18’s could not get a ‘strike’ (DG may be able to enlighten us on this). So those young thugs will walk out of jail/ detention in due course with nil ‘strikes’.

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  10. Unity (644 comments) says:

    I would be interested to learn where you got your information from, JamesBlake. When the DPB came into existence in the mid 1970’s, the number of unmarried teenage mothers jumped alarmingly almost overnight. It is well known that the many who leave school with no proper education opt to have a child so they can get more money from the State without having to even think about working. Many of these mothers are only in their early to mid teens. Look at the programmes now for children to be minded while their teenage mothers return to school to try and get a better education.

    Breakdown of relationships is also a problem and often in all too many cases where children are ill-treated it is by a stepfather. Some of these mothers have one relationship after another and more children are often the result. Some mothers have up to 5 different fathers for their many children. I still say there should be no increase in benefit for a child born to a mother on the benefit. There are a couple of States in the US (have forgotten which) who practice this policy and children to solo mothers dropped markedly.

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  11. RightNow (7,016 comments) says:

    JamesBlake :
    “Those who are in the smal minority that you want to blame for all of societies ills are them selves from a low income welfare backgrounsd and have little to no education.”

    But you’ll defend their rights to make their own choices (funded by welfare) and perpetuate the cycle. You’re part of the problem.

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  12. peterwn (3,341 comments) says:

    CJPhoto – See http://www.wellingtoncitymission.org.nz/public/mission-for-youth/ for a very good description of ‘alternative education’. I think the pupils may be enrolled in the Correspondence School as well.

    They sound rather like charter schools, but with a different name and strict admission criteria. Presumably the teaching unions tolerate them as it saves the bother of their members having to deal with the ‘eligible’ pupils.

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  13. jackinabox (776 comments) says:

    I blame the cops!

    Well no, actually you can’t blame them this time, (useless bastards) it’s the shop owners who are to blame, if they complained to the police that they were being crimed against the cops would have solved the problem in a jiffy.

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  14. David Garrett (7,704 comments) says:

    Peoples Flag: You are the “fuckin idiot” Internationally – as well as here, there is NO correlation between unemployment and crime rates. I repeat below a post on this I have just made on GD:

    : sorry, you are wrong. As the GFC took hold in 2009 there were dire predictions that rising unemployment in the US would reverse the sharp downward trend crime had taken since the early 90′s…Unemployment in fact reached 16% in California…SIXTEEN PERCENT….the crime rate remained unchanged, in fact it declined a little.

    We are a not dissimilar society to California: an “underclass” of uneducated or poorly educated Latinos and blacks rather than Maori..

    In 2008 – 2011 unemployment increase sharply right across the US…Crime didn’t.

    But look at the stats from the opposite angle – what happens when unemployment DECREASES sharply…what happens to crime rates? During the last few years of the Clark government – say 2005-2008 – we had around 4% unemployment in this country…4% unemployment is now regarded internationally as full employment…If the “unemployment/poverty causes crime” thesis was valid, crime should have been plummeting during that same period…It didn’t; rather it keep inexorably rising.

    Finally, old Mickey cant have paid attention in his Crimes lectures…there is no “alleged” homicide in West Auckland, there has unquestionably been a homicide…what is yet to be decided is whether it is culpable (blameworthy) and if so, whether it is murder or manslaughter…

    But back to the supposed reason for this killing…Who’s prepared to bet the youths were demanding cigarettes and money, and not a couple of boxes of canned soup? that’s what you’d demand if you were hungry wouldn’t you?

    Peterwn: You are right…limiting “strikes” to those over 18 was one of the concessions we made to the Nat’s…the lovely irony though (it warms my heart every day!) is that the law as passed has twice as many offences as my original draft due to Power’s game playing…

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  15. RightNow (7,016 comments) says:

    thePeoplesFlag (144 comments) says:
    June 12th, 2014 at 11:20 am
    “…The Government doesn’t control all, or even most, of the factors that cause crime…”

    The words of a defeatist, and a moral bankrupt.

    And yet when this government introduces policy to address the underlying causes it is your ilk that scream the loudest and try and shut it down.

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  16. mjw (402 comments) says:

    I’m sorry, where did David Cunliffe say anything on this? Your insertion of his name at the top is very misleading, and is also incorrectly attributed as quote. The quote is just made up for kiwiblog, isn’t it?

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  17. David Garrett (7,704 comments) says:

    Mjw: Cant you read? the headline reads “David Cunliffe’s chief setter upper of secret trusts blogs…”

    Perhaps you went through school during that most unfortunate 25 years where spelling and grammar didn’t matter, but it is crystal clear to me that the headline refers to the person who set up Cunliffe’s trust(s) not Cunliffe himself…

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  18. Ashley Schaeffer (535 comments) says:

    But back to the supposed reason for this killing…Who’s prepared to bet the youths were demanding cigarettes and money, and not a couple of boxes of canned soup? that’s what you’d demand if you were hungry wouldn’t you?

    Money for drugs would be my bet. If you were hungry and after some food, you’d just grab it and run out the door.

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  19. Tarquin North (406 comments) says:

    Cunliffe has been watching too much Campbell Live. They were heading this way last night.

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  20. JamesBlake (62 comments) says:

    Unity

    “http://www.cpag.org.nz/assets/Backgrounders/130402%20CPAG%20Myths%20and%20Facts.pdf” I know its from a radicle left wing action group in your eyes but when they present actual statistics feel free to interperate them in your own way. In particular over time of those dependant on the DPB less that 25% give birth to or become sole cargiver of a child and roughly 6% have 2 or more children. Thats 1500 caregivers aproximately. Hardley able to lay the blame for all of the violent crime in our country at their feet as IGM did.

    Actually RightNow their own choices have very little to do with my feelings on the matter. I am more interested in not punishing their children for their parents shit house choices. Their kids don’t have any choice about being born into that sort of situation. I personnaly think that if we can provide them with a good start and equality of opertunity we would see the benifits in a number of area’s for our country. Again I don’t like rewarding people for poor choices but I think it is a lesser evil than punishing children for someone elses poor choice. Of course we could take away their parents choice and force steralisation of people as they go out of work. That would fix the problem I am sure. Worked really well for those groups who have tried it in the past [better put sarc at the end of this]

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  21. David Garrett (7,704 comments) says:

    Ashley: Exactly right…and the shopkeeper would have most likely not even bothered to give chase…but because he didn’t meekly surrender to these little arseholes he is dead…

    Incidentally, I met kids like this when visiting the youth justice facility I have referred to on here before…Kids with cold dead eyes…the staff – wonderful caring types doing their very best – pointing out various of the inmates to me saying “he’s for the Big House; She’s for the Big House; We just might have got him in time…”

    These two are almost certainly clones of Bailey Junior Kuraraiki (he was 12 at the time he assisted in the killing of Michael Choy)…If he is not currently in jail he soon will be…

    As I said on GD, what’s the bet that the “parents” of these two have Sky TV, high end cellphones,. smoke like trains, and are tattooed?

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  22. David Garrett (7,704 comments) says:

    JamesBlake: Like a currant bun, there is a fair bit of merit in what you say..the kids DONT have the choice of where they are born, and they shouldn’t have to pay for their parents’ poor choices…

    But providing such kids equality of opportunity and a good start inevitably involves taking the kids from these “parents”…or preventing them giving birth to them in the first place…and I don’t need to be told how problematic preventing the underclass from breeding is…

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  23. alloytoo (583 comments) says:

    @DavidG

    I would be a little cautious extrapolating first world stats globally (though they certainly hold for NZ).

    The stats do support my suspicion that for the most part crime in NZ is a profession, rather than the act of desperation that it might well be in a third world context.

    I am persistently irritated by the bandying around of huge figures of child poverty (285K to 400K) when in reality these children (the sad abused few aside) live in conditions which are enviable by world standards and provided opportunities that third world children lack even the frames of reference to dream of.

    It’s my view that where crime is driven not by real need or desperation, the punishment needs to be significantly harsher as frankly there is no excuse.

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  24. JamesBlake (62 comments) says:

    Actually alloytoo crime is often driven by envy and feelings of be marginalised or looked down upon. Violent crime is often predicated by people feeling disrespected and like they are worth nothing. I hardley think these two small children were making a career choice if they did in fact commit this crime. The fact that people steel the stupid shit they do is because they feel that if they don’t have shiney worthless shit that they can’t be as good as those who do and therefore will be socially ostrasized.

    If harsher punshment was the answer then we would see far fewer cases of violent crime in countries such as America, they have far longer sentanses and capital punishment. However that is not the case. I doubt anyone here including myself has the answer to how to fix violent crime but chasing down the failed path of the Americans is surely it.

    Also adding to the stats that refute unity it may be well known that young people drop out and bred for money…oh wait the figures show that only 1.7% of those on teh DPB are under the age of 19.

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  25. Pete George (23,836 comments) says:

    Rachel Smalley rips into Phil Twyford

    Labour, it seems, has been quick to politicise the murder of dairy owner Arun Kumar in Henderson, and you’ll no doubt be aware by now that a 13-year-old has been charged with his murder.

    Labour MP Phil Twyford has been quick to jump on this. He says Mr Kumar’s death raises questions about whether the community has been let down by the authorities.

    Tragedies like the murder of Arun Kumar should not be politicised. We’ve seen politicians out in Henderson. Len Brown’s been there, the Auckland mayor. Labour MPs have paid their respects. But I think the Kumar family’s greatest support right now will come from the police, not from politicians.

    I don’t want to see more police on the streets. I want to see better parenting in our homes. That’s where the issue of accountability lies. Children who are loved and nurtured don’t grow up to be killers.

    Labour, I think, has picked the wrong fight on this.

    http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/auckland/shows/earlyedition/highlights/rachel-smalley-12jun2014

    I saw Twyford’s tweets and press release yesterday and thought it looked attention seeking politicking. But he has been offended by Smalley’s criticism.

    @PhilTwyford

    @Rachel_Smalley You think I’m politicising a murder? I’m speaking up for my constituents. That’s my job.

    It’s also his job to try and get elected in September. I don’t doubt he has genuine concerns about the dairy killing but his reaction seemed more publicity seeking than public minded.

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  26. hj (7,186 comments) says:

    Didn’t I read that crime rates fell due to surveillance?
    Didn’t the Greens moan like hell about surveillance?

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  27. hj (7,186 comments) says:

    In Yokohama I watched the policemen march out of the police station swinging their truncheons…. Unfortunately they weren’t heading to Henderson (imagine the self-righteous howling).

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  28. hj (7,186 comments) says:

    JamesBlake (47 comments) says:

    Their kids don’t have any choice about being born into that sort of situation.
    …..
    but they are the genes of those parents and the soft-landing is likely to be figured in.

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  29. jackinabox (776 comments) says:

    “but because he didn’t meekly surrender to these little arseholes he is dead…”

    So it was the shopkeeper’s fault. He should have followed Police advise and meekly surrendered to the armed robbers.

    I remember one case of meek surrender in a pizza shop that didn’t end too well, and I also remember a case of a chap who gut shot a would-be robber and got prosecuted for his trouble. Blimmen cops and their mixed signals.

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  30. Pete George (23,836 comments) says:

    It’s all Ruth Richardson’s fault and can be fixed by more tax.

    Millsy:

    FWIW — I think all the woes in society today stem back to Richardson’s 1991 budget. A lot of support for the vulnerable was stripped away then, everything has gone downhill since really.

    I think Millsy is known to threaten a bit of violence himself.

    Colonial Viper:

    Full employment policy for those 25 and under. Give them self esteem building the nation and building a future for themselves.

    Not sure if that means full employment for twelve and thirteen year olds.

    And Tiger Mountain…

    Agree Millsy, the Richardson cuts, sadly continued by Labour plus their “jobs jolt” crossed the rubicon. It is a long way back from calculatedly paying benefits not enough to live on while paying the middle class WFF.

    There is a way forward with a universal basic income of some kind and a Hone Heke/Robin Hood tax.

    The Standard has all the answers.

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  31. David Garrett (7,704 comments) says:

    James Blake: You have just blown it…”the failed path of the Americans” has seen a 60% reduction in violent crime in California since 3S was introduced 20 years ago, and across the continent in New York City, where they attacked the crime problem from both ends, homicides have gone from more than 2500 annually to about 500 in the same time frame…some “failure”…

    Jackass: How can you possibly read that I think it’s the poor shopkeeper’s fault from that statement? Mine is a simple statement of fact…he may well be still alive if he just fled out the back and let them rob him…

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  32. alloytoo (583 comments) says:

    @Jamesblake

    “Actually alloytoo crime is often driven by envy and feelings of be marginalised or looked down upon. Violent crime is often predicated by people feeling disrespected and like they are worth nothing. I hardley think these two small children were making a career choice if they did in fact commit this crime. The fact that people steel the stupid shit they do is because they feel that if they don’t have shiney worthless shit that they can’t be as good as those who do and therefore will be socially ostrasized.”

    That’s an awful lot of touchy-feely in a society with little or none abject poverty.

    You really just prove my point, it’s a choice, not a need.

    You stop them making that choice by making that choice less attractive, failing which you remove them from civilized society.

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  33. GPT1 (2,022 comments) says:

    Education. It is astounding that the Government can find $360 million to attempt to bribe teachers with promises of more pay but cannot increase funding for alternative education. Imagine what a difference this sum could make if applied to kids who are clearly at risk.

    Good to see Labour support for charter schools.

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  34. David Garrett (7,704 comments) says:

    James: I won’t bother repeating the quote which alloytoo has put in the first line of his post…By reason of what qualifications and experience do you make these lofty statement about the causes of crime? (Yes, we are certainly all entitled to our opinion, but what informs yours?)

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  35. Manolo (14,188 comments) says:

    An utter moron called Colonial Viper writes:
    Full employment policy for those 25 and under. Give them self esteem building the nation and building a future for themselves.

    The imbecile does not say how much would it cost or who would pay it. That’s the level at The sub-Standard.

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  36. burt (7,445 comments) says:

    FWIW — I think all the woes in society today stem back to Richardson’s 1991 budget. A lot of support for the vulnerable was stripped away then, everything has gone downhill since really.

    That’s half correct. All the woes in society stem back to the government preceding the 1990’s National government that created the economic situation that required the 1991 black budget.

    The lefties don’t get it – the same happened in 2008… But it was national’s fault – both times !

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  37. Psycho Milt (2,431 comments) says:

    Doesn’t that tell a dramatic story.

    It certainly does. It may be telling the dramatic story of many violent criminals giving up their shameful behaviour in a gesture of fear and respect to the National-led government. Or it may be telling the dramatic story of a decision to start aggressively juking the stats shortly after a National-led government was elected. I guess we’ll never know which it is…

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  38. mikenmild (12,463 comments) says:

    You don’t believe the official crime statistics?

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  39. G152 (423 comments) says:

    Sadly the world is full of little shits who don’t give a stuff for any-one else.
    Passing laws only affects the law abiding.
    Police can only catch the perp after the crime
    And reporters can make all sorts of crap claims because they sell more papers

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  40. David Garrett (7,704 comments) says:

    Mikey: I am not sure what “juking” means, but I assume it means to manipulate in some way…It is perfectly correct that police – and others – can massage crime stats by – for example – giving warnings for first offences of minor domestic violence rather than “arrest regardless” which is the policy now…I remember the Clark government used to spin that a sharp increase in violent crime was supposedly good news, because it mean that domestic violence was being reported…

    That is one reason I prefer the homicide and serious violent crime stats…not much room for massaging homicide or agg robbery rates…

    I am very hopeful we will soon get stats broken down by strike offences…I am very confident they will tell the same story as has been the case in the US

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  41. mikenmild (12,463 comments) says:

    Just for you, courtesy of the Urban Dictionary:
    Juking – dancing with a girl’s butt on a boy’s crotch area; called bedroom dancing by some people. The boy stands up and the girl is moving her pelvis and popping her back, the boy’s hands are on her hips.
    Not sure that’s exactly what PM meant, though.

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  42. Chuck Bird (4,915 comments) says:

    While poverty and income inequality are not directly responsible for crime they can be indirectly responsible for increasing the amount of violent crime if far left politicians keep publicly arguing that their is a link.

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  43. David Garrett (7,704 comments) says:

    Mikey: Thank you…perhaps he means “to make stats sexy”?? that of course is no easy task…

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  44. JamesBlake (62 comments) says:

    DG I am sure even with a 60% reduction in crime the Americans would still much prefer to have our violent crime statistics than theirs. It has also been proven that if an offender is on their last strike in the American ssytem they are far more likely to use extreem violence as they might as well go the whole hog. I would also think that America’s bloated prison system is hardley something that we should aspire too.

    My own qualifications aer not lofty by any means when it comes to commenting on the cause of crime. Probably no better than yours. I Have read a few different authors but I think I saw it best presented by Dr james Gilligan who has 25 years experience dealing with and interviewing some of the most violent offenders in the American prison system. My own experience is limited to my interaction with far right wing groups as a young man myself. The guys and girls who I knew back then weren’t horrible people at all as they are often portreyed. They felt downtrodden and the focus for them were those who were not white. Similar to how the focus for young Brown people becomes those who have more than them. They all have to bear the responsability for any crimes that they commit however it does not change the predominant contributor to the attiudes they have when commiting those crimes. Of course there are people who don’t fit into the exact subset described that does not of course change the fact that a large portion do and perhaps it is a place we can look to change things and hence reduce crime. How we do that I am not sure.

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  45. David Garrett (7,704 comments) says:

    James Blake: It has been “proven” by who that strike offenders facing their third strike arrest resort to extreme violence? I know of no such evidence…What I DO know is that the predicted rise of homicides of policemen, and prospective third strikers “shooting it out” with the cops trying to arrest them just didn’t happen…in fact homicides on police declined slightly in the 15 years or so after 3S was introduced,,,and that was despite a 20% odd increase in population in California over the same period…

    So, some references to evidence for your claim please…

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  46. David Garrett (7,704 comments) says:

    Nick R: I think you have the wrong station…Newstalk ZB employs Larry Williams doesn’t it ?? Either way, I have been interviewed by that station and found them fine..

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  47. JamesBlake (62 comments) says:

    I will grant there are not too many stories I can find but here is one

    http://www.sfgate.com/crime/article/I-580-shootout-suspect-facing-3rd-strike-3181135.php

    This guy is a peice of shit no argument. He had however not used violence towards police until his 3rd strike where he wore a bullet proof vest and opened up on them.

    I do like they way you ignored the point that 3 strikes isn’t working in California. Infact they have watered it down from its initial hardened form. See
    http://www.studentpulse.com/articles/696/3/assessing-the-impact-of-three-strikes-laws-on-crime-rates-and-prison-populations-in-california-and-washington
    for analysis on the stats that show that rather then contributing to a reduction in crime California’s 3 strikes law resulted in its crime rate reducing at a slower rate than other US states. In fact the much vaunted reduction in crime stats you have been refering to seem to be a continuation of a trend that existed before the 3 strikes laws were introduced. It has of course had the added bonus of increasing the costs to tax payers by increasing the number of prisoners in the the state by more than 400%.

    You have now got me to show you mine wheres yours. Show us the figures you are using to say that California has had a 60% reduction in violent crime and that this can be attributed to the 3 strikes law.

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  48. Stanley (3 comments) says:

    Can I recall Key saying crime had dropped so much they had plenty of time to investigate his Teapot complaint? But have they got enough time to keep a hard-working law abiding shop keeper safe? No wonder the Tories are lashing out at the messenger. Looks like Twyford has struck a nerve by saying what his local community is thinking.

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  49. David Garrett (7,704 comments) says:

    James, James: Give it up man! You are making a goose of yourself.

    How is 3S “not working in California”?? As I have said, violent crime has reduced 60% since it was introduced, despite a 25% increase in the State’s population. (Maths are not my thing so I don’t know what that means in “real terms”…perhaps someone can tell me. All I know is it means the reduction in crime was GREATER THAN 60% in real terms)

    The “watering down” of the law as a result of Prop 36 was well overdue. One of the reasons McVicar and I went to California in 2007 was to find out if the horror stories (youth goes to jail for life for stealing a chocolate bar) existed, and if so, how to draft our law so that couldn’t happen here.

    To the best of my knowledge there WAS never such a horror story, but there were certainly enough of them to cause us to ensure that they couldn’t happen here. (The one that struck me most I think was a 25 year to life sentence handed down to a third striker where his offence had been sitting a written driving test for his cousin, who was illiterate in English. Unluckily for him, that is a felony)

    So, instead of the vague “serious felony” test in California, “strike” offences here are all listed in the Sentencing Act: if it aint there it isn’t a strike offence. All strike offences are: 1) offences of serious violence; and 2) for which the penalty is seven years or more in jail; and 3) the offender must be at least 18 at the time he committed the offence.

    So there can never be any “boy goes to jail for 25 years for stealing a pizza/a set of golf clubs/ a dvd” here. But I suspect you already know all that; if you don’t, you shouldn’t really be commenting on this issue.

    What has happened in California is their law has become much more like ours: prescribed “strike” offences, and much more prosecutorial discretion. I don’t know if they looked at ours for guidance on how to make it more just, but of course I would like to think so.

    Sorry I cant give you precise online references…(I am a older bloke, and my reference material is mostly hard copy) Give me your postal address and I will send you some stuff…If you don’t want to do that, Google “California’s Legislative Analysts Office”, go to “publications” and look for a paper called: “Three Strikes: The impact after more than a decade”. With regard to Prop 36, go to: ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.California_Proposition_36

    If you think the modified 3S law as set out there is “weak” then your definition of that word is very different from mine.

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  50. JamesBlake (62 comments) says:

    So you didn’t read the link that I gave you at all did you? Here let me give you some key parts:

    “Ostensibly, early reductions in overall crime rates served as justification for three strikes advocates. However, many researchers attribute much of the phenomenon to preexisting trends independent of legislation, asserting that a comprehensive decline was observed in the 1990s throughout North America”

    “Studies conducted prior to the enactment of the California mandatory sentencing guidelines projected a 25 percent crime reduction at an annual cost of $5.5 billion if the law were fully implemented, which it was not (Meehan, 2000, pp. 25-26). Subsequently, between 1994 and 1997, the total crime rate in California dropped by 20.2 percent with a 13.8 percent reduction in violent crime. However, a 1999 Justice Policy Institute study concluded that the reduction was in no way attributed to three strikes law because crime rates had already started to decline in other regions of the United States prior to the law’s implementation and declared that California’s mandatory sentencing legislation was a failure”

    “An evaluation of the data revealed that three strikes states experienced a slower decline in most areas of crime prior to the implementation of their laws when compared to other states”

    “murder rates in three strikes states declined 12.9 percent less rapidly than the national trend, indicating that the fear of mandatory sentencing may have motivated certain criminals to eliminate witnesses and visit violence upon arresting officers”

    “the American custodial system has expanded by over 400 percent following a period of stability which had survived for more than half a century as shown in Figure 3 (Pfaff, 2008, p. 550). The United States currently houses more than one-quarter of the global prison population with over two million inmates and nearly seven million parolees and probationers ”

    “Collectively, states currently spend approximately $43 billion on corrections annually”

    Overall the study wasn’t overly critical of 3 strikes and it’s conclusion was in fact supportive. As I said in a previous post you can extrapolate what you want from the facts and figures. The above though to me is not a resounding high 5 to 3 strikes.

    Funny though you called on me to provide references and then cop out on backing up your own assertions and expect me to do your research for you.

    Lets boil it down to the basics though. Get rid of any bias. I personally don’t want to move towards the American system. The fact that they still have very high violent crime rates (even if they have dropped they are no where near as good as ours) and they also have the highest rate of incarceration in the world. Do you think that we should be aming to be more like the US?

    By the way that despite the increase still means 60%. They are saying it has been accounted for. Not that you have yet been able to tell us who THEY are.

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  51. Psycho Milt (2,431 comments) says:

    Mikey: I am not sure what “juking” means, but I assume it means to manipulate in some way

    Correct. Some of us have watched far too many episodes of “The Wire.”

    You don’t believe the official crime statistics?

    As a person of distinctly skeptical character, when I see stats representing mass social phenomena take a sudden sharp turn, I assume it’s a matter of the way the stats are gathered unless there’s some obvious potential trigger of sudden mass social change at the time the graph changed. These sorts of phenomena don’t change suddenly and radically for no reason.

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  52. David Garrett (7,704 comments) says:

    James: Do you not know the basics of evaluating sources? Who or what is the “Justice Policy Institute”?? Fr all I know it could be the California equivalent of Kim Workman’s bullshit organisation “Rethinking Crime and Punishment”, notorious for massaging and fudging stats and plain “making shit up”

    The Legislative Analysts Office (LAO) describes itself as:” A non partisan office which provides fiscal and policy information and advice to the California Legislature.”

    Some highlights from the paper, “Three strikes: the impact after more than a decade” published in 2006:

    “While analysts predicted an increase of more than 100,000 inmates clearly that has not occurred…approximately 40,000 [of the increase] was attributable to three strikes” (Page 16…)

    “analysts in 1994 suggested that the 3S law would result in additional state prison operations costs of a few billion dollars annually by 2003, increasing to $6 billion annually by 2026..it now[in 2006] appears that these estimates were high…The budget for the CDCR [California Department of Corrections] increased by about $3 billion since 1994-95, but much of this growth can be attributed to costs unrelated to three strikes”..(page 23)

    And best of all:

    “total crime fell from more than 4000 per 100,000 of population in 1992 to just under 2000 in 2002 (up from a low of 1800 per 100,000 in 1997)..” (page 30)

    Summary:

    Huge blowouts in prisoner numbers predicted – didn’t happen

    Huge cost increases for new prison beds predicted – didn’t happen

    Dramatic decrease in all classes of crime from 1994 (an acceleration of an existing trend)

    Increased homicides of police by “strike” offenders desperate to avoid arrest – No only didn’t happen, but such crime DECLINED somewhat.

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  53. David Garrett (7,704 comments) says:

    James: I am sorely disappointed! I left the debate to feed my kids expecting to come back and find all manner of refutations from you…but nothing! I can only conclude that you went to the references I gave you – limited though they certainly were – and …gave up…

    “all good” as I believe the youf now say…Happy to debate 3S with you any time…I did think one of the 12 second strikers currently “on the street” might graduate to strike 3 by the election, but time is running out…There will be one within 12 months…you can bet the farm on that…

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  54. Crusader (328 comments) says:

    JamesBlake (50 comments) says:
    June 12th, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    Actually alloytoo crime is often driven by envy and feelings of be marginalised or looked down upon. Violent crime is often predicated by people feeling disrespected and like they are worth nothing.

    Yes. OK. Feelings of envy and anger (because people THINK they are marginalised, looked down upon, or disrespected) are obvious contributors to violent behaviour.

    It’s never OK to assault another person, or rob them. No excuses. No matter how one feels inside. Ones feelings are always under one’s own control. The idea that anger just occurs inevitably to people, because of their position in society is wrong, and harmful.

    Therefore the answer is to educate young people to manage their anger, and gain enough perspective/maturity to avoid the initial snap judgement that someone must be disrespecting them, or even that it matters a damn if some random person respects them or not.

    Attitudes like this begin in the home, and are modelled by successful parents to their children, which is why their children rarely fill jails and generally do well. Not so much to do with their family income, more to do with values. “Attitude is the little thing that makes the big difference” (W Churchill)

    And anyone can model good attitudes and behaviour to their children. Widows on the benefit can even bring up kids to become the Prime Minister.

    It would be undeniably tough to start out in life without the backing of good parenting. Especially when job opportunities are tight. I think it might help to somehow get even those without gainful employment to find some other sort of meaningful purpose to their lives, and community engagement. Not sure how that would look or be funded, but it was noted long ago that the Devil finds work for idle hands (FWIW I’m not christian, but I acknowledge much wisdom in the teachings).

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  55. JamesBlake (62 comments) says:

    You would conclude incorectly. I went home and also looked after my kids. I don’t bother doing the blog thing from home as I would rather spend my time with my family. Thankfully my work is very glut and famin so I do have periods where I can contribute there. I am guessing you may not read this at all being it is now an old thread.

    The lack of clear author is why I didn’t use their conclusions which as I pointed out where actually very favorable towards 3 strikes. I only referenced the figures they were using.

    You are right the negative effects were not as bad as those opposed to the law predicted. However nor were the positive effects any where near as good as its proponents claimed they would be.

    It all still misses the fact that you are attempting to justify using a policy designed to try and reduce violent crime in a state that is FAR worse than anything we get in New Zealand. They have armed patrols roaming the streets of Baghdad but I would hardley think that we need to take that on as they have different issues to us. If anything California should have been looking to us to see why levels of violent crime were so low and seeing if there was anything to learn there.

    You still haven’t answered the question though. Would you be happy for us to be more like America? That was what you initially objected too. I personnaly am not a fan of having the biggest prison population in the world and some of the worst statistics for violent crime in the OECD. I am definately more of a fan of trying to prevent crime rather than sitting at the bottom of the cliff using a 3rd strike law to clean up after it.

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  56. David Garrett (7,704 comments) says:

    Well son, When you come up with the magic bullet that will prevent crime and restore us to – say – 0.5 homicides per 100,00 p.a. as we did for the first 65 years of the 20th Century, you be sure and let me know.

    (Of course we all know the kind of policies that would probably restore us to somewhere near that point but no party would ever implement them. In the absence of such policies 3S and policies like it will have to do)

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  57. JamesBlake (62 comments) says:

    Son? I mean I’m no gerriatric like you but hardley a kid.

    I think that is your biggest problem right there DG, you are looking for a magic bullet. There is no such thing. The only thing that would bring about your proposed 0.5 per 100,000 is to bring back the comunity values that existed in the 50’s and 60’s in New Zealand. Of course that would also mean going back to all those things we had back then like full employment, protected local markets and industries… all those things the ACT party would consider pretty evil.

    In the end I don’t think a mandatory minimum sentences aer a good idea. Just a personal thing. You very clearly do. This conversation isn’t changing anything in that though so I will happily leave it there.

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  58. Aussie Aussie Aussie (22 comments) says:

    Dear Sweet West Auckland how wonderful it was “Once”

    I grew up there the biggest crime I remember of my child hood was a robbery of a Bowling Green

    it changed slowly as the demographic changed

    When My Father died of Cancer the first time my semi disable Mother Shopped alone
    she was mugged by polynesians and then to top it off

    The Church asked her for more Money after Elviis had left the building

    That discussion with her was the last memory of our Family home

    we sold and moved her to a place of relative safety

    That is it
    That is how it ended
    You raise your Family you Bury your Husband

    to be mugged – by cowards

    liars

    (but that is the intention of the immigration program isn’t it)

    and that was 1992 – I expect it got worse – by reading this post

    A Womans whose Father Family fought for NZ
    whose father trained american soldiers in WW1

    who saw as a child american convoys shipping out of NZ to the Pacific to die for our Freedom

    their family even from the early days of NZ spoke Fluent Maori
    before it was fashionable

    Is mugged the first time she shops alone

    That is NZ

    What is was – What it is now

    Everything it once stood for

    Education Fairness respect are we allowed to say

    Christian Values

    all now

    Flushed down the dunny

    A dear friend is a widow (not by choice) there now – I worry about them her and her kids every day

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