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Violent Crime Soars, The Government Ignores

The latest crime statistics show that violent crime is going through the roof and police are on the brink of losing control of our streets, says National's Police spokesman, Tony Ryall.

"Under this Government, the chances of getting mugged, bashed or threatened are higher than they have ever been. The rise in violence is relentless and the Government's got no idea how to fix it.

"When was the last time anyone saw a couple of cops walking down city streets, the same streets that are now the unsafest they have ever been?

"Today's announcement of a 5.9% increase in violent crime for the year ended 31 December 2001, comes on top of a 4.7% increase for the year ended 31 December 2000.

"An extra 2500 New Zealanders were violently attacked in the past year. The violent crime rate is the highest it has ever been at 113.4 per 10,000 people. This isn't property we're talking about, these are real people.

"The Police Minister can't ignore this problem any longer. Police resources are stretched to breaking point and understaffing is rife because of recruitment problems and so many existing staff being diverted into Highway Patrol.

"Only this week, I've warned of the dangers of methamphetamine and designer drug use spiralling out of control in this country. Today's figures back this up with non-cannabis drug offences up 6.9%, on top of 6.6% in the last period.

"The figures give total lie to the Police Minister's blind assurance that "New Zealand is a safer place to live". The Prime Minister remains very focussed on overseas affairs when she should stay at home and tackle this problem," says Mr Ryall.


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