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Police Minister Calls For Report On Auckland Crime

29 August 2002

Police Minister Calls For Report On Auckland Crime

Police Minister George Hawkins asked the Police Commissioner to come up with a report by the end of September on ways to combat crime in Auckland.

Mr Hawkins made the request following the release today of crime statistics for the fiscal year 2001/2002.

While the figures were the third best since 1990/1991, a 12 per cent increase in recorded crime in Auckland was unacceptable, Mr Hawkins said.

While a 14-year low in national burglary rates, and significant reduction in crime in other Police Districts was pleasing, any increase in recorded crime was of concern.

“Consequently, I have asked the Police Commissioner to produce a report by the end of September outlining how the police intended to deal with crime in Auckland,” Mr Hawkins said.

“New Zealanders will not accept a return to the bad old days of the 1990s when big increases in overall crime were tolerated,” he said.

The figures were particularly disappointing when under the Labour-led government annual police funding had increased by around $140 million, and were now at an all time of high of just under $1 billion a year

“It’s true to say that the police have never been as well supported or better resourced by any previous government and clearly there are issues within the police which need to be addressed,’’ he said. “This Government wants to see results.”

Issues around police staffing in the Auckland region would need to be addressed in the report requested from the Police Commissioner.

“For instance, it may be time the current ‘population-based’ formula the police use to determine staff placement is reassessed in favour of a system where crime rates are given more consideration,” Mr Hawkins said.

Introduced by the last National government, the population-based formula allocates police positions principally on the number of people living in an area.

Mr Hawkins also thanked the police for their excellent work in solving a number of difficult offences during the year, including a number of high profile kidnapping and murder cases.
“Policing is not easy. I want to congratulate the teams who worked to resolve these cases, and also include those less well known teams whose good detective work daily solves the many less high-profile cases,” Mr Hawkins said.


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