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Hawkins: Ryall Wants Us To Forget The Bad Bits

10 May 2001 Media Statement

Hawkins: Ryall Wants Us To Forget The Bad Bits

In Parliament today, Tony Ryall tried in vain to lay the blame for violent crime statistics at the door of the present Government.

The Minister of Police, George Hawkins, was quick to remind Mr Ryall that violent offending skyrocketed by 77% between 1990 and 1999, under the National Government.

"The statistics tell a sorry tale" said Mr Hawkins. "In 1990 there were just 22,391 violent offences but by 1999, when National were booted out of Government, that number had soared to 39,688 offences. The Labour Alliance Government inherited this, and many other disasters, when we came to office.

"The mess that National left will take longer than eighteen months to rectify" said Mr Hawkins. " Police are working hard to reverse the upward trend in violent crime, but nine years of neglect takes time to fix. Already, Police have improved the resolution rate for violent crime to 76.6% and I congratulate them on that.

"There has been a lot of good news for law-abiding New Zealanders since this Government came to office" said Mr Hawkins. "More than $100 million in extra funding has gone to the Police. Hard work by our police men and women has brought crime down by 2.5% and improved resolution rates. Burglary rates have been slashed to an eighteen year low.

"Of course Tony Ryall would like us to forget National's shameful record. But unfortunately for him, New Zealanders are no dummies and do not forget quite so easily" said Mr Hawkins. "It is time Mr Ryall admitted the failings of his government which allowed violence to spin out of control".

ENDS

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