Act leader wants prison for third burglary

Act Party leader Jamie Whyte. Photo / Natalie Slade
Act Party leader Jamie Whyte. Photo / Natalie Slade
Burglars would be sent to prison for a minimum of three years without parole on the third burglary offence under new policy announced today by Act leader Jamie Whyte.

It would be a separate regime to the current three strikes law which requires a judge to sentence a convicted offender of a third serious violent crime to the maximum sentence without parole.

Act was responsible for the original three strikes law.

Speaking at his first Act conference as leader, Dr Whyte said burglary was also a serious crime. His late mother's home was burgled, the offenders had defecated all over her house and she never felt safe again.

He described burglary as "a traumatising crime that our penal code takes too lightly".

Act wanted victims of crime to receive the compensation they were due, he said.

The party also wanted to repeal the Resource Management Act and replace it with a law that addressed only market failures "not fantastical injuries to Gaia or the sensitivities of people with no real interest in your land", he said.

"It will be a very small law."

Speaking to the conference of about 200 at a winery in Mangere, Dr Whyte, a former philosophy lecturer, also explained his comments of the past week in which he attracted unwanted headlines by saying he stood by previous comments that incest should not be illegal between consenting adults.

He didn't actually use the word "incest" in his speech but said he had been "lulled into a false sense of security" when being interview by a journalist.

"This is easy, I thought, You just speak openly and honestly to reporters and you get good press."

"This week I was done over by the media. I was given a 'gotcha' question and as most of you probably know I walked straight into it."

In the morning that the story ran in the Herald, he had many media interviews and said that "over the course of that morning, i moved from being a philosopher and columnist to being the Act Party leader".

He told reporters after the speech that he was in no way blaming the media and that he took full responsibility for his own "blunder".

"I am not going to tell you there will not be more 'gotcha' questions. When Labour leader David Cunliffe and Green co-leader Russel Norman get hold of my publications I am sure I am going to be described as threat to Western civilisation. What I actually am is a threat to their lazy thinking."

- Audrey Young of the NZ Herald

Three strikes expensive?

"Too expensive. Won't happen!" says The Orator.  

Whether it would be a good idea or not, I wonder about "too expensive".  Habitual burglars cost an awful lot, though not all on one page like the prisoner-per-year cost.  The costs are spread through out businesses, the community and the justice system.  The victim of the burglary then has to claim insurance - bang goes the no-claim bonus - and there may be extra insurance costs if alarms and security systems are not put in place, or upgraded from what they were before the burglary.  
Then when caught, and that is a very small number compared to the number of burglary crimes committed, there are the costs of police time, courts, and whatever penalty is imposed.  
There is another factor and that is that some burglars also attack householders when disturbed, and others commit rape on what seems to be the basis of "because she was there, in her own home" possibly asleep when the burglar made his way into the house.  So though I do not have the figures, I believe that "too expensive" is probably incorrect.

Nice idea but a waste of money

Wouldn't it be better to put a stop to it after the first offence? Just why should the tax payers have to foot the bill for a 3 year holiday for offenders?

I would be happier with a "firearm in every house" policy. Then they would think twice about breaking in. Breaking into my house will be the last break in they ever do, guaranteed.

Three strikes

Of course it won't happen. Act will be a very minor voice with very little clout in the next government. Still, it will get some attention given to their ideas.

3 Strikes

We've heard it all before. Too expensive. Won't happen! Just politicking in an election year.


ODT/directory - Local Businesses

CompanyLocationBusiness Type
Mt Iron Furniture & JoineryWanakaCarpenters
Aburns Glass 2005DunedinGlass Merchants & Glaziers
Great Southern Group Timber SuppliesMosgielFarming Supplies