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Police Savings Message Is Simple

Minister of Police Hon. George Hawkins said his message to the Police Commissioner has been simple, that the Government expects taxpayers money to be used wisely.

"It's a call for commonsense, for an attitude of operating in a sensible and cost efficient manner. That is the Government's expectation," George Hawkins said.

"The responsibility for the prudent management of Police budgets lies with the Commissioner of Police and Police district commanders, and I am encouraged that the Commissioner and his team are committed to this course.

"This week a lot of inaccurate comment has occurred in the media. I wish to put the record straight.

"On cell-phones, my view remains consistent: that those officers who require a cell-phone should be issued with one. Those who do not require a cell-phone should not be issued with one. Also, cell-phones should be used for legitimate purposes.

"As the Commissioner of Police said this week: the initiative involving the recalling of cell-phones in the Auckland City and North Shore/Waitakere Police districts was an option taken by the managers in those districts," George Hawkins said.

"It is also inaccurate for commentators to suggest Auckland Police motorway units have been told to park during rush-hours to save fuel.

"The fact is the Police have had a park and be seen policy for traffic enforcement since 1992 when the Traffic/Police merger occurred," George Hawkins said.

"It is certainly correct to acknowledge that the Police do a fantastic job in New Zealand. Our Police are highly valued and their reputation of integrity is clear to New Zealanders and to those abroad.

"The Government too has a responsibility to uphold, to ensure taxpayers money is used wisely. The INCIS fiasco proves how tens of millions of dollars can be wasted when governments fail to keep check of government organisation spending.

"As Minister of Police I have a responsibility to ensure wastage is minimised. Unlike the previous National led government's cut and take approach, any savings that the Police achieve will remain with the Police.

Ends

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