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Action Called For On Shrinking Thin Blue Line

It is hardly surprising that violent crime is skyrocketing in Auckland when there is virtually no police presence on the streets at night, says National's Police spokesman Tony Ryall.

The Police Association says staffing problems mean that on some nights, only two patrol cars are out on city streets.

"Auckland police are currently working on one of the country's more horrific murder inquiries and the public of New Zealand need an assurance from the Police Minister that the team working on this are fully resourced.

"I know there are 21 vacancies in the CIB in the city and the Government cutting of recruitment earlier this year to save money, coupled with the numbers leaving the force, means there's an estimated 40 frontline vacancies as well for the district.

"People involved with policing in Auckland have known about the problem for some time. Now it's public knowledge, it sends a clear message to criminals that they won't be caught.

"It seems ironic that the one night recently there was a big police presence on the streets of Auckland was the night the Police Minister and the city's new Mayor were out walking the streets. We wouldn't have seen the same numbers the next night.

"The Commissioner must step in and do something about this staffing crisis. It's simply not good enough to say a timeframe's still being worked on to come up with a solution.

"We hear the Minister's floating a promise of the middle of next year. But we know what the Minister's promises mean," says Mr Ryall.

Ends


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