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Shipley Wrong on Police Numbers

1 February 2001 Media Statement

Shipley Wrong on Police Numbers

Minister of Police Hon George Hawkins said claims by National Leader Jenny Shipley that Police numbers would be 400 down by the end of this year are wrong.

On Wednesday night's Holmes Show Mrs Shipley said the number of Police were going to drop by nearly 400.

"That is completely wrong," George Hawkins said.

The facts are, on 30 November 2000 there were 7129 sworn Police staff – up from the 7024 sworn staff the National led government had provided for on 30 November 1998.

George Hawkins said: "Yesterday I stated publicly that Police are on track to have even more officers than ever before. Indeed the Commissioner of Police yesterday urged anyone with an interest in pursuing a Police career to call 0800 COPS.

"It seems Mrs Shipley is suffering from not being in the know and when pressured she appears to make things up," George Hawkins said.

"The facts are, by the end of this year we will have more Police than ever before. And what's more, this Labour/Alliance Government and the Police will continued to be results orientated, reducing crime and catching crooks.

"Mrs Shipley's comments were clearly an attempt to divert attention away from her own miserable track record when she was in government.

"The previous National led government considered burglary a low priority crime. It was preoccupied with a glitzy corporate mirror-glass image – gazing down a hole called INCIS. They ought to be reminded of that.

"In contrast, this Government has focussed on law and order. In last year's Budget, this Government provided Police with $86 million more dollars than the previous government did," George Hawkins said.

National said in July 1999 that it would cut the Police budget by $24 million if it was re-elected. Thankfully it was not elected.

"Yesterday's burglary statistics demonstrated that when a government is committed to a cause, then it can produce results.

"Police provisional statistics show burglary offences have dramatically reduced down from 74,490 recorded burglaries for the 1999 calender year to 66,525 for the year 2000. This result displays the lowest recorded burglary rate since 1982 – that's an 18 year low," George Hawkins said. "Burglary resolution rates have also improved to 15.8% - the best resolution rate in 12 years."

Under National, burglaries soared to an all time high. In 1991, 94,683 burglaries were recorded with only 10% of those crimes resolved.

"In contrast this Labour/Alliance Government has delivered on its commitment: to crack down on burglary and to provide our Police with the tools to make New Zealand a safer place.

"The moaning of Mrs Shipley ought to be viewed as silly," George Hawkins said.

ENDS

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