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Harsher penalties sought for stock theft
Posted at 9:20am Wednesday 14 Jun, 2017
Bay of Plenty Farmer Rick Powdrell is delighted the Sentencing (Livestock Rustling) Amendment Bill has been drawn from the ballot to go before Parliament.
"It’s frightening when you are faced with someone in a remote rural area who is most likely armed," says Rick.
"The successful passing of this bill would show the victims of livestock rustling that the justice system is prepared to take these crimes seriously," says the Federated Farmers’ Rural Security spokesperson.
Federated Farmers is pleased the bill will be heard.
"Federated Farmers would like to see harsher penalties for crimes such as stock theft, including the threat of losing vehicles and equipment used in the crime as is the case with fisheries prosecutions," says Rick.
Livestock theft is not only a financial burden to farming businesses but also a risk to people’s safety. Farmers are often alone when confronting stock thieves.
It’s estimated that livestock rustling costs the farming community over $120 million a year. The bill is intended to deter people from engaging in livestock theft by identifying it as an aggravating factor at sentencing.
The bill partners well with the Police announcement that 177 new frontline staff will be posted around New Zealand over the next 12 months, and 880 sworn staff over the next four years.
These additional officers will see an increase in 24/7 policing in rural areas.