Labor remains soft on crime

Elise Archer,Attorney-General

If Labor are serious about being tough on crime, they should not only support our mandatory minimum sentence Bills but they should also support our policy to improve Tasmania’s dangerous criminal framework.

Our commitment is to improve the Dangerous Criminal provisions to increase their flexibility to ensure courts can apply orders on our worst offenders – this is one important way the courts can impose an indefinite sentence in order to protect the community.

The Government is developing a streamlined process to ensure the community and the courts can be confident that, when the courts and prosecutors believe a criminal is too dangerous to be released from prison, action can be taken.

Keeping Tasmanians safe is a top priority for the Hodgman Liberal Government and we believe Dangerous Criminal declarations are an important tool to keep the worst offenders off the streets.

We will also introduce a second tier declaration for dangerous criminals to allow intensive monitoring post-release, including electronic monitoring and other forms of supervision, which will help to protect the community and ensure offenders do not reoffend.

Labor should today commit to supporting this important initiative, or explain to Tasmanians why they won’t.

Yesterday, in what can only be described as a con job, Labor revealed they want to increase the maximum sentence which will do nothing to ensure that in all cases convicted child sex offenders are put behind bars. Only mandatory minimum sentences will achieve this.

In the five years since we came to Government with a strong mandate on law and order matters, Labor have shamefully tried to block and obstruct our efforts to keep the community safe and to protect victims and our most vulnerable.

They opposed our Bill to guarantee prison time for those who assault police offices, they opposed our policy to phase out suspended sentences, and they continue to oppose our Bills to introduce mandatory sentences that guarantee jail time for serious offences.

Labor also still supports the early release of prisoners (known as remission) before the full sentence handed down by the courts is completed.

I call on Labor to actually support the Government’s heavy law and order agenda which we took to the last election, including mandatory sentences and our dangerous criminal legalisation, to have any credibility at all in law and order.

/Public Release. View in full here.