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Public Service Corruption Not Endemic - Police

Public service corruption not endemic

Police say corruption is not endemic in the public service.

Detective Superintendent Bill Bishop, Police National Crime Manager, said a survey undertaken as part of work on an organised crime strategy showed the incidence of corruption was low.

“In fact the conclusion to the report indicated that New Zealand ranked second in the world in terms of being corruption free.

“However it’s clear from work we are undertaking that organised crime groups, specifically gangs, are positioning themselves in the public sector to use influence or private information for their own illegal ends,” he said.

“Public sector agencies are vulnerable to attack from gangs and organised crime groups and need to remain ever vigilant,” Mr Bishop said. “Police are encouraged by the response from departments to date and we are working closely with them on preventive strategies.

“Organised crime and its threat to individuals, businesses, the public sector and the wider community requires a multi-agency response.

“This is being given a high priority by Police, Government and other public sector agencies.”

Police completed a survey in March last year on organised crime. In terms of the state sector issue, the survey provided 26 examples of instances of corruption or infiltration of government departments and public companies.

“All these are historical incidents that Police have been aware of. They were one aspect of a wide ranging survey of our staff looking at the whole issue of vulnerability in New Zealand to organised crime.

“Police are at present finalising an organised crime strategy as part of the wider Police Strategic Plan. Organised crime joins burglary, youth crime and crimes of violence as key Police and Government priorities.

He said New Zealand is not immune to organised crime. “Operational police are investing a lot of effort, intelligence and equipment to combat the growth of organised crime and catch those responsible.

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“This year’s capital budget has seen an allocation of $2.3 million for organised crime,” Mr Bishop said. “Money is being spent on enhancing our electronic forensic capability.

“Organised crime groups should not be under-estimated,” he said. “They are well skilled at disguising their activities through a range of business interests.

“I’m confident that strategies being developed by Police will go a long way in reducing the risk from organised crime.”

Ends

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