New Zealand Labour Party

Breaches should be ringing alarm bells

The staggering number of offenders breaking their electronic monitoring conditions shows an urgent need for a major rethink of how Corrections and Police keep track of high-risk criminals, Labour’s Correctiona spokesperson Kelvin Davis says.

“A report out today shows there has been more than 15,500 breaches of electronic monitoring conditions since 2008.

“It comes just a day after Auckland man Tony Robertson was sentenced for raping and murdering Blessie Gotingco while under strict monitoring conditions, and convicted child rapist Daniel Livingstone went on the run after tampering with his electronic ankle bracelet.

“They hadn’t been jailed for jay-walking. Police and Corrections knew both these men were dangerous and at high risk of re-offending, yet both of them managed to fly under the radar.

“Corrections Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga is taking about a review into Corrections' monitoring of Tony Robertson.

“It needs to be broader than that. The whole policy around GPS monitoring needs to be looked at and consideration needs to be given to classifying the worst offenders as ‘instant action’, so when their alarms are triggered there is no mucking about.

“Given the Police budget has been slashed by $15 million in the last year, it may well be they are doing the best they can in the circumstances. However that can’t be an excuse to do nothing.

“The Minister must act now. There can be no more Blessie Gotingcos,” Kelvin Davis says.