Matthew Backhouse

Matthew Backhouse is an APNZ journalist based in Auckland.

Nats target family abuse

Judith Collins. Photo / APN
Judith Collins. Photo / APN

National wants to put $500,000 towards safer homes for victims of family violence or those at risk of serious harm and increase the penalties for breaches of protection orders.

Police Minister Judith Collins announced the policy with Prime Minister John Key in Gisborne yesterday. Another law and order announcement is also expected from National.

The safer homes initiative would include strengthening doors from glass to solid doors, installing alarms and deadlocks and security lights, and having hand-held alarms that, when activated, alert police directly.

"Nobody has been hurt in one of those homes," Ms Collins said.

It would be rolled out to South Auckland first and further as funding allowed. The money would come from the $50 levy on offenders, which has raised almost $4 million since it was introduced last year.

National would also double the penalty for breaching protection orders to a $10,000 fine or a two-year prison term.

In 2010, 976 people were convicted of breaching a protection order. Of these, 185 received a prison sentence.

Labour leader Phil Goff said strong measures had to be taken against people who were a threat to their former partners if they were breaching protection orders. However, he suspected National was just beating the law and order drum with the policy.

- NZ Herald

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