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Slam offenders back in court: NZ First

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 11/08/2016

MP Darroch Ball © Twitter/@DarrochBall MP Darroch Ball NZ First is accusing the government of being soft on crime because offenders serving community sentences are given three warnings before prosecution.

Offenders who breach the conditions of community sentences should be "slammed straight back into court" without a warning, says NZ First.

MP Darroch Ball says issuing three warnings before prosecution shows how soft the government is on crime.

"It's a privilege for criminals who are given a community-based sentence instead of jail time, and that privilege should be automatically stripped from them for any breach," he said.

"But National just wants to give them warnings and avoid prosecution at all costs."

Mr Ball has also criticised a member's bill drafted by National's Mark Mitchell.

The bill, which passed its first reading on Wednesday, allows the Department of Corrections to stop the benefits of offenders who don't comply with the conditions of community sentences.

Mr Mitchell says it's another management tool the department can use before prosecution.

Mr Ball says it's an example of failed law and order policies.

"He's prepared to allow offenders to stay in the community, even if they breach sentence conditions," Mr Ball said.

"Only after three breaches will he act - not with prosecution, but with a benefit cut."

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