The Greens condemn the law and order bidding war being waged between the two major parties in the lead up to the state election in March and call for all parties to adopt Greens policies aimed at solving the social causes of crime.
The law and order bidding war has more to do with whipping up anxiety in the electorate about crime than working out ways to solve the causes of crime in the community.
“Providing adequate numbers of police to serve areas where populations are increasing is the role of government. The community should not have to wait for an election to receive resources necessary for the provision of basic services,” said Jane Smith, Greens candidate for Charlestown.
While the scattered geography of the Lake Macquarie Command must be taken into account when resources are allocated, the long term solutions to crime do not lie in simply boosting the numbers of police and increasing their powers.
Both leaders of the major parties are promising more police and police stations. Neither is addressing the underlying causes of crime or the solutions to it.
“There is no justice in locking people up without providing genuine preventative measures to tackle family stress, economic disadvantage, mental illness and drug and alcohol abuse” said Ms Smith.
It costs as much to hold a person in prison as it does to employ a teacher. The Greens support early intervention measures such as smaller classes and better educational opportunities, which reduce crime rates and can be funded by spending less money on gaols.
The Greens are committed to well-resourced rehabilitation programs and social support services as the way to cut re-offending rates and make our communities safer.