- Fairness is National’s main aim for the criminal justice system, and what people currently don’t get
- Violent crimes incidence has increased 44% since Labour took office
- Labour have blamed violent crime on the the 1991 Budget, the sun and the moon and the latest “blame” is on urban design
- Helen Clark this year promised a victims’ charter – as she also promised in 1994!
- Summarised policy announced to date including increased penalties for gang members, wider use of DNA testing, on-the-spot protection orders, Tasers, reverse Labour’s bail law changes, extend Youth Court to 12 and 13 year olds, and allow private management of prisons (was massively successful last time)
- Announced National would abolish Labour’s Sentencing Council and redirect the $5.8 million saved into a fund for victims of crime. Says the Council’s role is to reduce the nominal length of prison sentences by 25% and that no need for a lawyer of bureaucracy between Parliament and Judges.
- Also will abolish the Criminal Justice Advisory Board and redirect that $250,000 also to victims of crime.
They then had a forum afterwards with Power, Chester Borrows, Kate Wilkinson and Chris Finlayson. It started off somewhat farcically with Simon Power asking questions to his associates. I joked to a journalist that having the Spokesperson interview his associates is hardly going to result in probing questions! But to be fair Simon managed it with humour and after an initial round of questions, they had delegates ask any questions they want. Confirmed National will keep the SFO if it is not abolished by the election.