Hapless Hawkins Makes Crime Fighting Harder
National understands that the Auckland CIB has been instructed not to collect any DNA to save money, National's Police spokesperson Brian Neeson said today.
"This comes after news that Wellington Police have stopped collecting DNA for the database to cut costs.
"DNA is one of our most powerful crime-fighting tools. Cutting back costs in this area is stupid and dangerous.
"The DNA bank helps police catch violent criminals before they can claim more victims.
"The Police Minister is showing his incompetence with his crusade to make cutbacks in the Police. New Zealanders do not want our police hamstrung by the Minister's ill-advised attempts at cost cutting.
"There is a crisis of confidence in the Police Minister. My phone, and the phones of other National MPs have been running hot with calls from police all around New Zealand who are irate about Mr Hawkins' lack of understanding of the impact his cutbacks are having on the ground.
"I dread to think what foolish idea will be directed from the Beehive next. Our Highway patrol officers are policing the streets without radios, police are on the beat without cellphones, police may have to pay for their training, training for new recruits has been cancelled, slower police cars might be on the streets, school visits by police have been stopped, DNA testing has been halted and there are huge delays in processing a backlog of samples, rural police stations are unmanned and highway patrol cars are being parked up to save petrol.
"Hapless Hawkins talked tough in Opposition, now he's showing how incompetent he is as a Minister by cutting costs in all of the wrong areas. Police officers need all of the support they can get to ensure New Zealanders are safe in the homes and on the streets," Mr Neeson said.