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Law and Order Politics in New Zealand 1986: A Comparison With the United Kingdom 1974-79

NCJ Number
International Journal of the Sociology of Law Volume: 16 Issue: 1 Dated: (February 1988) Pages: 103-126
J Pratt
Date Published
24 pages
This article compares the rise of law and order as a political issue in New Zealand in 1986 with a similar trend in the United Kingdom (UK) during the 1970s and examines the reality of crime in contemporary New Zealand.
First highlighted are themes and imagery of the law and order campaign generated in the UK and their effects when translated into crime and penal policy in the 1980s. An examination of law and order issues in New Zealand reveals close parallels with earlier UK developments. This discussion concludes that New Zealand now has all ingredients necessary for increases in public crime and disorder and increases in confrontations between police and working class youths and ethnic minorities. Such developments will be seen as both validating law and order concerns and justifying the concentration of resources on these dimensions of the crime problem. In exploring crime myths emerging from the political right, the article shows how the picture of a country free from crime, violence, and disorder until very recently is wholly erroneous. Statistics indicate that violence and sexual assaults against women, particularly those committed in the private domain are considerably more prevalent in New Zealand than the UK and yet are absent from the discourse on law and order. Over 60 references.