New offence for non-disclosure in child abuse cases

The New Zealand National Party

Opposition Leader Simon Bridges has today announced a National Government would introduce a new offence to criminalise the non-disclosure of information relating to child abuse cases.

“As a former Crown Prosecutor and father of three children I know something needs to be done about the appalling rates of child abuse in this country. I can’t stand by and watch stories in the news about children being killed and injured where nobody is held to account,” Mr Bridges says.

“I have prosecuted cases involving child abuse. They are harrowing – but I was proud to seek justice for those children.

“There are more that should have come to me to prosecute but they never made it to court because those involved refused to tell police what had happened. Those children never got the justice they deserved.

“The new offence would have a maximum penalty of three years in prison. The law would require someone to give police information unless they had a reasonable excuse not to. It would be similar to the Failure to Disclose offence which was introduced in Victoria in 2014 for child sex abuse cases.

“National is the party of law and order. Only a National Government will be tough on crime and put victims at the heart of the criminal justice system.”

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