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Highway Patrol At Expense Of Crime Fighting

Hawkins' Highway Patrol At Expense Of Crime Fighting

Police Minister George Hawkins has pushed through his 'elite' highway patrol at the expense of police crime fighting, National's Police spokesperson Brian Neeson said today.

"Mr Hawkins promised the highway patrol wouldn't affect police numbers but we are already hearing of police shortfalls in places like Levin and North Shore/Waitakere. This isn't good enough.

"Moves to improve road safety are important but should not be at the expense of crime fighting. It's just not on that police can't keep on top of crime in places like Levin and North Shore/Waitakere because they are short-staffed.

"It's fine for the Minister to talk about getting tough on burglary but when there aren't enough Police to respond to calls their job is made impossible.

"Seventeen officers will be taken from the already short-staffed North Shore/Waitakere district.

"Mr Hawkins promised 225 recruits nationwide to replace the experienced officers who have taken up highway patrol positions but they aren't ready yet. George pushed ahead with his highway patrol with no regard for the effect it would have on the ability of a short-staffed police force to fight crimes like burglaries.

"New Zealanders want to know that they are safe in their homes as well as on the roads. Mr Hawkins shouldn't improve one at the expense of another," Mr Neeson said.


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