Every community in New Zealand should be a safe place to live, work and raise a family. To make sure this is a reality, our Government is focused on addressing the complex issues that cause crime while also making sure that appropriate consequences are in place.
Here are just some of the measures we’ve put in place to keep New Zealanders safe:
Youth offending has been trending down long term, but the recent spike that we’ve seen in ram raids is not acceptable.
Our Government is focused on getting under the problems that cause crime, while also making sure that appropriate consequences are in place. We’ve rolled out a raft of measures to achieve this, including our Better Pathways package.
This package expands programmes that support young people back into education or employment, and it’s already having an impact on offending. Around half of the most serious and repeat young offenders that have been identified and targeted are now in education or training. Wrap-around support is also in place to help at-risk young people get back on the right track.
Now we’re taking the next step in our plan with a circuit-breaker for a specific group of children who engage in serious and repeat offending. This will ensure children who commit serious crimes will be dealt with immediately and receive the support they need to stop them offending again.
Nobody should feel unsafe going to work in New Zealand, which is why we recently announced a package of practical measures to tackle retail crime, alongside new initiatives to partner with small businesses and local councils.
This includes a new fog cannon subsidy scheme which will be open to all small shops and dairies in New Zealand. We are also extending the Retail Crime Prevention Fund to help businesses that have been victim to an aggravated robbery, as well as a ram raid, to access better security measures, like CCTV systems, shatter-proof glass and bollards.
We’re also making funding available to local councils where this kind of crime is more prevalent – in Auckland, Hamilton and the Bay of Plenty area – matching them dollar for dollar to help fund better crime prevention measures that they see working for their local communities.
When taken together, these initiatives make this the most significant crime prevention financial package in recent history.
Since taking office in 2017, we’ve delivered New Zealand’s largest ever Police workforce – putting more than 1600 officers on the front line. We’re also making sure Police have the resources and tools they need to do their job properly, including by changing the law to give them greater enforcement tools when dealing with fleeing drivers.
To crack down on violent offending and other criminal activity, we’ve introduced new warrant and additional search powers for Police to find and seize weapons from gang members during gang conflict. These changes help Police to do their job and protect New Zealanders.
We’re also continuing to hit gangs and other offenders where it hurts by taking their guns, cars and motorbikes and making it harder to launder money. Thanks to the changes we’ve made, items such as watches, jewellery and vehicles have been added to the list of high value goods that can’t be sold for cash over certain amounts. You can find out more here.
Our Government has implemented harsher penalties for gun crime. We’re taking further action to reduce gun violence by ensuring guns do not fall into the wrong hands. The firearms vetting process will require additional information of applicants to ensure they are fit and proper to hold a license.
We’ve also put in place law to create Firearms Prohibition Orders which help to stop guns falling into the wrong hands and we’re well underway with work to develop a firearms register.
We know there’s no single solution to tackling crime or the causes of it, but we’re absolutely focused on putting in place solutions that work to keep New Zealanders safe.
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