National was elected promising to get tough on crime, and we are delivering on that promise. Tackling violent crime and ensuring our communities are safe is also my personal priority. I am therefore pleased that National is delivering in this vital area.
Statistics show that reported crime decreased by 6.7% per head of population in 2010. In Auckland, the news was even better, with recorded crime decreasing by more than 10% per head of population in the same period.
This is good news for all of us.
I recently had the privilege of going out in an ‘Incident Car’ with a two-man Public Safety Team on the Friday night/Saturday morning shift in Manukau.
I was impressed with the empathy, focus and professionalism of the team in dealing with a wide variety of situations. A domestic incident illustrated first-hand the value of Police Safety Orders (PESO), a new tool that National has provided Police.
This ensures the two parties in an incident are kept apart for a defined period.
It is issued when police have reasonable grounds to believe that family violence has occurred or may occur. The purpose of the PSO is to protect people at risk from violence, harassment, or intimidation.
Already, 5000 people have been protected under Police safety orders.
I have also taken the opportunity to spend a day with the Wiri Neighbourhood Policing Team and observe the excellent work they are doing in our Manurewa community.
Neighbourhood Policing Teams, assigned to a defined physical neighbourhood for a period of three to five years, work with the members of that community in maintaining a high level of community security.
National has passed 18 new laws to help make families safer in their homes and communities, which includes addressing the drivers of crime and getting tough on the most serious, violent offenders.
Under National, we have given the courts power to enforce maximum jail sentences, for those considered to be the most serious and repeat offenders, with no parole.
We have also strengthened the bail laws and introduced tougher sentences for those who offend against children.
War on drugs
Prime Minister John Key has declared a war on the harmful drug methamphetamine, or P. We are cracking down on the precursors of P, and drug supply chains. This is working and up to the end of May, 24.6 kg of methamphetamine has been seized.
National has given Police new powers to intercept gang communications, dismantle drug fortifications, and seize the proceeds of crime.
We are also boosting the frontline Police force, with 300 additional officers on the beat in Counties-Manukau already, and another 300 nationwide by the end of this year. We have given the Police new tools to DNA-test offenders arrested for serious crimes, and rolled out more than 700 Tasers to ensure their safety.
But we have a long way to go yet. National will continue to work with the Police to bring criminals to justice, address the drivers of crime, and send a clear signal that Crime will not be tolerated in our community.
Law and Order continues to be a priority for National because we all deserve to feel safer at home and in the community.
Dr Cam Calder is a Member of Parliament on National List. He is based in Manurewa in South Auckland.