The Standard’s piece earlier in the week has got me thinking on crime. The Nact government has failed to impact on trends:-
Number of recorded crimes in year to July 2008: 426,690
Number unresolved: 226,301
Number of recorded crimes in year to July 2010: 441,960
Number unresolved: 229,399
So, not only more crimes (1.4% per capita) but more unsolved too. If Treasury’s optimistic outlook for lower unemployment turns out to be correct, we might expect crime to drop a little next year. But it won’t be due to anything the government has done.
Number of people on prison sentence, Sept 2008: 6,231
Number of people on prison sentence, Sept 2010: 6,967
Locking more people up isn’t solving the problem
Law and order
Number of new police promised by Judith Collins and John Key: 600
Number delivered, according Deputy Police Commissioner Viv Rickard: 30
Number of new offences created by National government: more than we could count
Number of cars crushed thanks to Crusher Collins: zero
The danger is that in election year we all get caught up in a “lock them up” bidding war which at one level meets demand but at another just adds another generation to the problem. And building prisons is very very expensive. Money that otherwise be able to to be used for improving health or education or even for a tax system that had lower real marginal rates for middle income kiwi families.
But to do so requires at least a two party agreement. I wonder if Simon Power is up to it.