The Democratic Party understands that true justice cannot stand alone.
We are committed to addressing the underlying causes of crime, such as poverty in all forms, inequality and educational limitations to name a few, while ensuring that offenders are dealt with fairly.
However, neither do we intend to be soft on crime and we have written policies aimed at combatting crime and assisting our police.
We will revise laws on penalties for all crimes, particularly those applying to domestic violence, and all forms of abuse, youth crime, burglary. We will also move to further protect the rights of our children. Within our prison, we will educate and rehabilitate our prisoners for their return as law-abiding members of society and support the Department of Justice with both human and financial resources.
The safety and security of our community is a priority for the Democratic Party and a police service that maintains law and order on behalf of the people must be appropriately resourced and managed to be effective. We will work with our police to introduce a range of initiatives to support community programmes aimed at stopping crime before it begins. We will, however, ensure our police are properly resourced and in particular that their pay and working conditions encourage young Cook Islanders to choose the police force as a career and allow them to stay in the country and work to maintain a safe society for our people.
One Cook Islands
Our role is to question and challenge the integrity of future policies including law and order to ensure they reflect the will of the people and the objectives of the governing party.
Public sector reform is one of our four platforms and these related questions will form part of the basis for the principles of Reform in those specific areas.
Our priority has been to focus on social reform; however, we have considered the issues of law and order and acknowledge this is an area that demands attention which will be addressed at the appropriate time once it is clear as to the fiscal position of government and the respective policy priorities of individual ministries including the Cook Islands Police Service.
Any policy changes or commitments will be done in consultation with our people and the ministries concerned.
Note: The Cook Islands Party response had not been received by the time CINews went to print, but will be published tomorrow together with all three parties’ replies to the Saturday question.