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Hawkins struggling with police portfolio too

Tony Ryall National Police Spokesperson

9 October 2002

Hawkins struggling with police portfolio too

The speech today by the Police Minister to the annual Police Association Conference shows he's grasping for credibility in this portfolio as well as in Internal Affairs, says National's Police spokesman Tony Ryall.

"George Hawkins' bumbling over the rotting homes crisis is eclipsed only by his incompetence with his Police responsibilities.

"Telling the Police Association today that Auckland policing is in trouble is a blatant case of closing the gate after the horse has bolted. The Minister has known for two years that policing in our biggest city was in crisis, but he's ignored the problem. He knew because National warned him time and time again.

"This is obviously because he's trying to hide his decision to cut police recruitment by 240 last year to save money.

"The Minister's claim today, too, that he's concerned about the spiralling methamphetamine problem is also rich. National warned him about this burgeoning crisis two years ago. He ignored it.

"Policing and its contribution to the safety and security of New Zealanders is far too important to leave in the hands of a bumbler like Mr Hawkins," says Tony Ryall.


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