Every community in New Zealand should be a safe place to live, work and raise a family. Our Government is focused on tackling the complex issues that cause crime while also making sure that appropriate consequences are in place.
Youth offending has been trending down long term, but the recent spike that we’ve seen in ram raids is not acceptable. It’s worrying for communities and creates victims, and there’s more that needs to be done.
That’s why we have announced a package of practical measures to tackle retail crime, alongside new initiatives to partner with small businesses and local councils.
It 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 will also make 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 memory.
These next steps add to the measures we’re already taking to combat crime and keep New Zealanders safe.
We’ve delivered New Zealand’s largest ever Police service.
We’ve already put more than 1600 more Police on the front line and we’re making sure they have the resources and tools they need to do their job properly.
For example, we recently announced that we’re changing the law to give Police greater enforcement tools when dealing with fleeing drivers. These changes will mean drivers can be disqualified for longer, have their vehicle taken away for good, or the owner of the car could have their vehicle impounded if they choose not to help Police track down the driver of a fleeing vehicle.
We’re helping at-risk young people into better futures.
We’re working hard to steer young people away from crime in the first place and we recently stepped up a range of solutions that are proven to work. Our Better Pathways package has extended locally-led programmes that reduce reoffending and help young New Zealanders get back on the right track.
All of the programmes that we’ve scaled up, including He Poutama Rangatahi, play slightly different roles – ranging from helping people into education, training and employment, to more general wrap-around support. They’re all working successfully to help at-risk young people turn their lives around. You can find out more about this here.
These are just some of the ways we’re working to build safer communities. Other recent actions include giving Police powers to hit gangs and other offenders where it hurts – taking their guns, cars and motorbikes and making it harder to launder money. You can read more about our record here.
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