"More money, more talk, no consequences."
That's what National is saying on yesterday's government announcement of new funding for dairies and shops needing crime protection.
The government will pay $4000 to every small shop and dairy wanting to install fog cannons, following the death of dairy worker Janak Patel in the Auckland suburb of Sandringham last week.
Speaking to teaomāori.news, National's justice spokesperson, Paul Goldsmith, says the government must acknowledge that it's "part of the problem" before it can fix it.
“People in the retail sector are fearful of their safety,” he says. “The government is very good at making announcements, it's going to spend some money, but the follow-through is the problem.
“I’m sure the next announcement will be welcomed but there’s not much belief that there will be a follow-through.”
'Serious crime - serious consequences'
Though he acknowledges the protections will help, he doesn’t want to see dairies built as “fortresses”.
“What [the government] needs to deal with more effectively is the drivers of crime and the crime itself.”
As for his own plans, if National were in government, Goldsmith says accountability and “toughening up” in three areas (gangs, youth crime and increasing the speed of the court system) would be at the forefront of its crime response. It includes the not-too-well-received policy of introducing young offender military academies for young serious offenders aged 15 to 17 years old.
“What we mean by [toughening up] is, if you’re stealing a car and smashing it into someone’s shop and stealing stuff, it’s not a misdemeanour. It’s a serious crime and there need to be serious consequences.
“It may be community facilities, not just voluntary but compulsory, sending them off to Waiouru if you need to for a while to break the cycle.”