Criminals deported to NZ from Australia cause major headaches
Figures obtained by Newshub show criminals deported from Australia since its hardline deportation stance are causing major headaches, with returning offenders committing almost 900 crimes here.
Community workers believe the influx is straining services.
Visa cancellations apply to foreigners who were jailed for at least a year, and figures from the past two years show:
- Since January 2015, 660 people have been deported to New Zealand.
- They've committed 877 offences since returning - from violent and sexual crimes through to traffic offences.
- Almost half of the offences have been committed by 115 people.
Labour corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says the Government is not supporting the people who are being sent home.
"There's over 800 victims of crime because the Government haven't brought in the support these people need," Mr Davis says.
Corrections says few of those offences have ended in convictions - just 44 of them are in prison here, and Corrections say it has a handle on a "difficult" situation.
"Just because they are coming back to New Zealand doesn't mean they'll stop their offending like we have people in prisons in New Zealand today who unfortunately reoffend," Corrections deputy national commissioner Rachel Leota says.
People At Risk Solutions (PARS) assists Corrections with reintegration, and sometimes receive crisis calls from deportees.
They say that when deportees contact them, they're often stressed out and don't know where to go.
Most are subject to a "special conditions hearing" with a district court judge.
Human rights lawyer Douglas Ewen says Corrections are falling behind.
"The person can be in the country for five months before you even get to a special conditions hearing, and even then the rehabilitation assessment hasn't been done," Mr Ewan says.
Ms Leota says people returning back to the country aren't the only ones who are having to go to court.
Corrections says it's doing its best to reintegrate the deportees to stop them reoffending, and PARS wants communities to chip in and give them a chance - they say they need all the help they can get.