Govt to 'think outside the box' with crime targets
Tue, 03 Jul 2012 6:13p.m.
By Samantha Hayes
The Government has announced how it plans to cut crime rates by 15 percent over the next five years with no extra funding.
It is the first of the Prime Minister's so-called "ambitious targets" for the public sector, but the Police Association says they have seen this before and there are dire consequences.
“We know where crime happens, we know where it’s more likely to be so we should have police there before it happens in numbers able to deal with things – and we’ve seen that trialled in Counties Manukau and it’s been very successful,” says Justice Minister Judith Collins.
According to police six percent of adults experience 54 percent of all crime, and property crime – like vehicle theft and burglary – accounts for two thirds of all offending.
That is why the Government is going to target property crime
But the Police Association says in the 1990s the Government did that but methamphetamine became a huge problem.
“Through the 2000s again we were looking at low-level crime, volume crime, and we ignored some very important crime - which was child abuse,” says Greg O’Connor of the Police Association.
And there is no new money; instead savings between the Ministry of Justice, Corrections and Police will be shared.
“Tight financial times force you to think outside the box,” says Prime Minister John Key.
And when that thinking outside the box is applied to environmental design, it means that dark alleys will not be a part of the Christchurch rebuild.
“When you have a street that has a clear line of sight it is less likely that you’ll have people getting their heads attacked or assaulted by somebody hiding in corners,” says Ms Collins.
And drugs and alcohol are also being targeted. Fifty-one percent of crimes are committed under the influence and 65 percent of sentenced offenders have a problem with addiction, so pilot drug and alcohol courts are being trialled in November and all prisons will have rehabilitation units.
And if the Prime Minister gets his way access to alcohol will be restricted.
“My guess is that Parliament will vote for the split drinking age – there will be a lift in the age at off licences,” says Mr Key.
“My own personal view is I’m going to vote for the split age [but] everyone’s different.”
The Police Association says the Government's crime reduction goals are laudable but its focus is on improving statistics - and history shows that important areas can be ignored.
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4/07/2012 8:16:28 p.m.
The Police aren't getting any extra funding however that doesn't stop inflation and costs going up, their having to look at ways of cutting costs which include centralising staff, use of call centres called Crime Reporting Lines instead of going into your local police station.
There also looking at closing small Police Stations with Whangamata & Whitianga to name two i know of.
Also there is no plans for more front line staff and instead the focus will be on doing more with less.
Statistics are one of those things that can be twisted to suit ones needs by recoding an incident to something else... ie... vehicle crash = traffic incident, burglary = theft
4/07/2012 8:19:39 a.m.
With cutbacks in Police numbers,cutbacks in Local Government funding,both alcohol and drug addiction,the closure of treatment centres for drug and alcohol addiction outside of prisons, and reduced health spending none of the governments proposal are remotely feasible.
More meaningless grandstanding by the Minister and Prime Minister.
3/07/2012 9:24:14 p.m.
the DR wrote:
and at the end of the day if the government get our economy going and decent wages we are half way there
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