Media Release 2 June 2018
Family First NZ says an independent nationwide poll showing two out of three New Zealanders support the Three Strikes Law confirms that the Labour government has no public mandate for scrapping it, and that the evidence proves it is having the desired effect.
The poll of almost 1,000 New Zealanders undertaken by Curia Market Research and commissioned by the Sensible Sentencing Trust found that 68% of respondents approve of the Three Strikes Law and only 20% disapprove (13% unsure or refused to say).
Significantly, the support was strong amongst Labour (63% support) and NZ First voters (66% support).
“The law appears to be working as planned because there is a dramatic drop from the number of 1st strikes (9,632 as at April 2018) to 2nd strikes (273), and then again to a third strike (4). Criminals aren’t stupid. They are well aware of the law and its consequences. If the regime is scrapped, the government is in danger of sending a message that we’re not serious about the It’s Not OK zero-tolerance message on family violence,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.
88% of second strikers are assessed as High Risk of reoffending by the Department of Corrections and have an average of at least 26 criminal convictions on their record. 38% of second strikers have convictions for offences that are now strike offences, prior to them becoming strike offences. Third strikers have an average of 63 criminal convictions on their record.
“The best and most obvious way to protect women, children, men and the elderly from repeat violent offenders is to incapacitate the offenders. You can’t commit crimes against families if you’re in prison. The purpose of this three-step law has been to warn ‘career criminals’ to find a new job or else they will become ‘career inmates’. They are effectively being given two chances to stop their violent behaviour.”
“The Three Strikes law reinforces the Its Not OK message by taking victimisations seriously. A repeated ‘slap on the wrist’ for violence undermines our efforts to reduce tolerance for violence and the career choice of repeat violent offenders.”
Ministry of Justice figures provided in a December 2017 OIA response analysed the number of offenders becoming second, third or fourth strikers in the five years after Three Strikes was passed, compared with the five years prior to Three Strikes. These figures showed a 34% reduction in ‘strike’ recidivism.
“This is the kind of result that should be welcomed, not repealed.”
The nationwide poll was carried out during February and March and has a margin of error of +/- 3.2%.