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Ryall Needs To Wake Up

Minister of Police Hon George Hawkins said today that National's latest police spokesperson Tony Ryall needs to sharpen up his act before he embarrasses his party beyond repair.

"Tony Ryall's latest line of drivel, as reported in this morning's Dominion, again displays an MP who is completely out of touch," George Hawkins said.

Tony Ryall wrongfully states that George Hawkins made the Police hand back cellphones.

Here are the facts.

"The Commissioner of Police and his District Commanders have ensured officers who require cell-phones have them, and those who do not require cellphones do not have them. It is as simple as that. This is commonsense," George Hawkins said.

Tony Ryall wrongfully states that George Hawkins made the Police leave stations unmanned.

"Tony Ryall shows he knows nothing about policing as it is the responsibility of District commanders, and ultimately the Commissioner of Police, to manage the deployment of officers at stations throughout the country.

"Actually in 12 months, this Labour/Alliance Government provided Police with more officers than ever before with 7129 officers as of November 30 2000 – and the numbers of Police are increasing," George Hawkins said.

Tony Ryall wrongfully states that George Hawkins made the Police park up highway patrol vehicles to save petrol.

"The facts are, as the Commissioner of Police has repeatedly stated, such a view is simply not borne out by fact.

"The fact is the Police have had a park and be seen policy for traffic enforcement since 1992 when the Traffic/Police merger occurred. Police experience shows that a highly visual presence on the highways and roads is an excellent deterrent to speedsters and careless drivers.

"The good public of New Zealand would be able to tell Tony Ryall that Highway Patrol vehicles are patrolling and parking to ensure we are all safer when travelling on roads and highways," George Hawkins said.

"Tony Ryall's allegations are silly repetitions of the tired old rant that National's sacked Police spokesperson Brian Neeson used to chant.

"Everyone who chooses to look can see Tony Ryall is rehashing the same old tripe," George Hawkins said.

"In fact the spotlight ought to be turned on Tony Ryall. He was part of the team that poured millions and millions of dollars down that hole called INCIS. Tony Ryall was also part of the same Cabinet that approved the failed Police digital radio contract.

"This man's track record is pathetically bad. Tony Ryall ought to front up and explain why he did not stop his past government from draining the Police of resources that could have been used to catch crooks.

"National touted Tony Ryall as a frontbench heavyweight. He is proving to be misinformed, dithering, and out of touch just like Brian Neeson was," George Hawkins said.

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