ACT’s ‘three strikes for burglary’ policy – when is a burglary not a burglary?

So, as part of the post-Easter comedown, ACT have re-announced their ‘Three Strikes for Burglary’ policy. I’ve previously blogged on my issue with this policy, so here’s a lazy re-post of my reason why I oppose the policy in its current form.

Occasionally Erudite Publications

Here in Gisborne, where I reside, burglary is endemic. The East Coast has, so I am told (by the Judiciary, no less), the highest rate of burglary in New Zealand, on an even par with Manukau. The Judiciary has declared war on burglary here, which is fair enough (although it certainly makes it rather more difficult to keep my clients out of prison on second or subsequent burglary convictions).

ACT’s policy of having three strikes for burglary (with a minimum sentence of three years’ imprisonment for a third strike) is therefore undoubtedly attractive to the good, law abiding citizens of Gisborne. Not so attractive, perhaps, for the less law abiding ones…

My issue is that sometimes a burglary is not a burglary.

The definition of “burglary” in s 231 of the Crimes Act is astonishingly wide:

(1) Every one commits burglary and is liable to imprisonment for a term not…

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