Aafter a couple of false starts, Act party leader Jamie Whyte has made his first election mating call on familiar Act stomping ground: Law and order.

Sandra Conchie reports today on page 8 that Whyte is calling for the offence of burglary to be a three-strikes offence.

Under Act's policy an offender who racks up their third burglary conviction would spend at least three years in prison without parole.

One could be cynical and see this policy as a carrot to voters.


The "hang'em high" approach for burglars will always have public support.

Victims of burglary feel violated and it can leave people traumatised.

Burglary is home invasion under another name.

The violation of having someone rifle through your personal belongings and take what they please can leave some victims traumatised for years.

The predatory nature of a burglar can also lead to sexual offending and more violent offences.

Yet figures show fewer than 2 per cent of burglaries in New Zealand resulted in a term of imprisonment last year.

I find this shockingly soft.

Tauranga MP Simon Bridges says New Zealand is rejoicing in some of the lowest crime figures since records began.

According to Mr Whyte, last year there were more than 52,000 reported burglaries nationwide.

That includes 1333 burglaries in the Western Bay district, compared to 1647 in 2012 - 1333 burglaries is still 1333 lots of misery.

Burglars are not, as Labour candidate Rachel Jones would have us believe, poor victims only stealing because they have no other choice.

They are rotten criminals who deserve more than five minutes on the naughty step.

While it is good news that the Bay burglary rate is on the decline, a threat of jail after being caught a third time will help reduce it further.