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Neeson Is Off The Planet

8 December 2000. Media Statement

Neeson Is Off The Planet

National's Police spokesperson Brian Neeson has demonstrated how he hasn't a clue how the New Zealand Police operates, Minister of Police Hon. George Hawkins said.

"Neeson's media statements are nothing short of ludicrous – almost as ludicrous as his support for world grid theories. Neeson's claims are so off-beat they are dangerous," George Hawkins said.

Let's get factual.

Neeson claims: highway patrol officers are policing the streets without radios.

George Hawkins said: "That is absolute nonsense. Highway patrol vehicles will be fitted with radios and other high-tech equipment specialising in reducing the road toll."

Neeson claims: Police are on the beat without cell-phones.

George Hawkins said: "Both the Commissioner of Police and myself have stated district commanders are ensuring officers that require cell-phones are issued with them. This is commonsense."

Neeson claims: police have to pay for their training.

George Hawkins said: "That's absolute rubbish. There is no truth in that rumour that he continues to peddle."

Neeson states: slower police cars might be on the streets.

George Hawkins said: "This is incorrect. Frontline Police will continue to have six cylinder vehicles. The Police Commissioner is looking at whether youth aid officers and education officers for example require six cylinder vehicles. Commonsense would suggest that they would not."

Neeson claims: school visits by police have been stopped.

George Hawkins said: "This is completely incorrect. The Labour/Alliance Government launched comprehensive youth and education packages in this year's Budget. Perhaps Neeson is reading from the National Party manifesto!"

Neeson also states: DNA testing has been halted.

George Hawkins said: "This is so wrong one wonders what planet he is on. Police have informed me that the Auckland City DNA programme is progressing well and achieving excellent results."

Further, Neeson claims: rural police stations are unmanned.

George Hawkins said: "Again this is absolute rubbish. Obviously Neeson has not done his job visiting rural stations. If he had done he would find rural stations housing rural police officers.

Neeson states: highway patrol cars are being parked up to save petrol.

George Hawkins said: "Obviously the man has not got a grip on his job. The Highway Patrol has yet to be launched. Once it is launched the public will see new highly visible vehicles specifically dedicated to patrolling our roads and highways with the purpose of saving lives. This will be up and running before Christmas.

"Auckland police motorway units have not been told to park during rush-hours to save fuel. The fact is the Police have had a park and be seen policy since Traffic merged with Police in 1992," George Hawkins said.

"If Neeson has an objection to such an excellent initiative as the Highway patrol, then one must question his suitability as a police spokesperson.

"Brian Neeson ought to take a few lessons in management structures. He needs to understand operational management of the Police lies with the Police Commissioner and district commanders. And I've got to say I'm encouraged that the Commissioner and his team are committed to providing a professional service to the public.

"New Zealand Police do a fantastic job. And excellent governments must ensure taxpayers money is used wisely.

"It's all about commonsense.

"The INCIS fiasco, which occurred under Brian Neeson's lot, proves how millions can be wasted when bad governments fail to keep check of spending. The Labour/Alliance Government wont allow that to happen," George Hawkins said.


ENDS

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