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Minister Must Confirm Cops Won’t Be Replaced

Media Release
Brian Neeson
National Police Spokesperson
24 January 2001

Minister must confirm that new Cops won’t be replaced

National’s Police spokesperson Brian Neeson today backed up renewed Police concerns over the scrapping of three intakes of recruits into Police College.

"We hear about all the infringement notices George Hawkins’ new Highway Patrol is issuing, but the simple fact is those 225 police that will be traffic officers by the end of the year won’t be sufficiently replaced on the beat.

Acting Waikato District Commander Kelvin Powell and Police Association president Greg O’Connor have both raised concerns today over the impact the Minister’s planned recruiting postponement would have on frontline policing.

"It’s good to see that speedsters are being caught, but alarming the Government is ensuring it’s happening at a huge cost. We are desperately short of Police, morale remains rock-bottom, and Police budgets have blown-out.

"The Police Minister is very conscious of the carnage he’s inflicting but sadly he’s been biding his time to confirm that three intakes of police recruits won’t happen this year.

"With Police continually outraged, the Minister now realises there is no right time. I challenge George Hawkins to categorically confirm his plans to slash recruiting, if only to give Police time to try and prepare for the shortage as best they can.

"As it is, there is no absolutely no fat in system. It is simply amazing, for example, that Police resources are somehow coping with the waterfront dispute in Nelson," Brian Neeson said.


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