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Police Union Negativity Outrageous

9 March 2001 Media Statement

Police Union Negativity Outrageous

Minister of Police Hon George Hawkins said he is wary of the constant negativity emerging from the Police union.

"The latest is a New Zealand Police Association attack on the soon to be launched Canterbury Highway Patrol," George Hawkins said.

"The Highway Patrol is an initiative designed to save peoples lives. It is highly visible and is an obvious deterrent to bad drivers and others who flout our traffic laws," George Hawkins said.

"Hundreds of people are killed on New Zealand roads and highways every year. The Government and the Police are determined to reduce the road toll. That is what this Highway Patrol is all about.

"It is disappointing that the police union does not seems to value the merits of road safety. It seems determined to moan and groan and criticise every step of the way. This gives the impression of a bunch of 'complaining misinformation merchants'.

"For example, a member of the Police union was wrong this week when he told the public in Canterbury that the Highway Patrol would drain frontline police numbers. If the Police union had checked it would have discovered that the Government will provide 21 extra staff for the Canterbury Highway Patrol.

"In the Wellington District the Highway Patrol has proven to benefit not only the road safety programme but also Police intelligence. This has been well publicised in the Police magazine Ten One. It demonstrates that Highway Patrol officers are involved in frontline duties, even though their core purpose is saving lives on the roads.

"Road accidents are highly traumatic. They are devastating. It appears some in the Police union look down their noses at traffic policing – that's professional snobbery of the worst kind.

"The Highway Patrol is recognised by leading road safety experts as an excellent way to make our roads safer. The New Zealand Police Association ought to be reminded of this fact," George Hawkins said.


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