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Hawkins Deliberately Used Wrong Crime Stats - ACT

Papers Show Hawkins Deliberately Used Wrong Crime Statistics Before Election

Papers released under the Official Information Act reveal Police Minister George Hawkins deceived the New Zealand public two weeks before the general election with wrong crime statistics, ACT New Zealand Police Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman said today.

"I have obtained correspondence between the police and the Minister before this year's election. This clearly shows Mr Hawkins received crime statistics indicating a rise in crime between 2000/01 and 2001/02, but deliberately used inaccurate figures to issue a media statement, two weeks before the election, claiming crime had dropped by 2.4 percent.

"Mr Hawkins exploited the previous year's incorrect figures in order to create a drop in crime.

"Mr Hawkins claimed in his press release that he had compared the 2001/02 provisional ten-monthly figures with the crime figures of the same period from the previous year. In fact, he did not use the 2000/01 recorded crime figures at all. Despite knowing the true crime rate for those ten months, Mr Hawkins used the 2000/01 "provisional" figures - outdated and blatantly inaccurate estimates which he knew overstated the period's crime by 10,000.

"Mr Hawkins had an obligation to use the most accurate measure he could. By comparing the latest ten-monthly crimes with the wrong figures, Mr Hawkins knocked over 10,000 crimes off the ledger.

"The correspondence I am releasing today clearly shows the Minister knew the facts and ignored them.

"Mr Hawkins should resign as Police Minister," Dr Newman said.

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