Mana Says No to Political Window-Dressing BillPosted on August 1, 2012 by admin in John Minto, Press Releases
Mana has opposed the Sentencing (Aggravating Factors) Amendment Bill.
“It’s disappointing we are the only party opposing this bill because it is nothing more than political window-dressing for the government” says MANA Vice President John Minto.
The Bill aims to ensure that offences against police or prison officers are taken into account as aggravating factors in sentencing with the government saying it is needed because assaults on police have increased in the past five years.
“From Mana’s point of view an assault on any citizen is a serious matter and judges already have plenty of leeway in considering aggravating factors relating to any assault so this bill adds nothing of substance to help the police, prison officers or anyone else. Undermining the case for the Bill is the fact that assaults on police have actually decreased in recent years. Statistics New Zealand figures show that assaults against police have significantly reduced since 2009 (2009: 2550 recorded assaults; 2010: 2188 recorded assaults; 2011: 2014 recorded assaults – the vast majority of which resulted in no injury to the officers). So we don’t need it”.
“The real purpose of this bill is political window-dressing – designed to make people think the government is doing something effective to combat crime when the bill won’t stop a single assault on police or anyone else. If the National/Act/Maori Party government want to reduce crime then they should attack the causes of crime head on staring with reducing income inequality. A dramatic increase in the minimum wage; replacing GST with a financial transactions tax and giving communities to power to get rid of the pokie machines in their midst would do far more to reduce assaults than passing this meaningless piece of legislation”.
For more information please contact Malcolm Mulholland on 027 765 6380