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Lives being put at risk with increased use of electronic bail for dangerous offenders - SST

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Judges are gambling with lives in our community by their increased use of electronic bail for violent, dangerous offenders instead of putting them in prison where they should be, says Darroch Ball co-leader of Sensible Sentencing Trust.

"It has been revealed that Tangaru-Noere Turia, the Australian 501 deportee who was shot by police in Papatoetoe, was on electronic bail after a "very violent bank robbery" in February. While on bail for that robbery he was arrested again while entering an address in Botany with a weapon. Yet again, he was still approved for electronic bail where he absconded and fired a shotgun out of his window - narrowly missing his neighbour."

"What sort of crimes does it take now for judges to decide they need to be held in prison? It seems any sense of public safety has been totally cast aside."

Department of Corrections figures obtained through the Official Information Act are showing a doubling of the number of crimes committed on electronic bail since 2015.

"What is most concerning is that around forty percent of those crimes involved weapons, violence or drugs."

"The numbers being put on electronic bail has skyrocketed from 751 in 2014/15 to 2,477 in 2019/20 - a more than three-fold increase. This clearly shows electronic bail is being used more and more in place of prison as the remand option for violent and dangerous criminals."

"Concerningly, we have also seen an increase in the number of people charged with murder or other violent or sexual crimes been given electronic bail - with 556 in 2017 ballooning to a massive 1,026 in 2019."

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