Child protection bill passes first hurdle

judgeOneNews 26 Sept 2013
A new bill which would see offenders receive tougher sentences if their crime was committed in front of a child has passed its first reading in Parliament.

NZ First MP Asenati Lole-Taylor’s Sentencing (Protection of Children from Criminal Offending) Amendment Bill was last night voted on unanimously to the Law and Order Select Committee.

The bill would see any crime committed in front of a minor, aged 16 years or under, be an aggravating factor during sentencing.

Lole-Taylor said too many children were being exposed to danger, and witnessing a crime could cause a child serious emotional and psychological harm.

“The evidence is staggering – 460 children were found at crime scenes between 2010-2011,” she said.

“What is more disturbing is that children were present in 37% of P-Labs and 73% of drug houses.