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Police Buckling Under Pressure

Police Buckling Under Pressure

ACT New Zealand Police Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman today slammed the Government for allowing some police districts to come under such enormous pressure that some of their duties have had to be sidelined.

"Increased sexual abuse complaints and homicides have forced Nelson Police to sideline other cases while they investigate. If police received real funding, rather than `Labour funding', this situation would not have arisen," Dr Newman said.

"Police work long hours in what is, largely, a thankless job. Their's is a job that most people could not do. And, yet, Labour refuses to recognise that. Since Labour came to power, it has tightened its squeeze on police funding - from 1.9 percent of the total budget, to 1.7 percent.

"Adding insult to injury, the Government also forces its political priorities onto the police, resulting in the erosion of the operations budget designated for fighting crime. This puts pressure on frontline officers - long hours in a strenuous job, without adequate resources causes many police to burn out and take early retirement.

"The Minister has a responsibility to ensure that the police are able to do their job properly. The situation in Nelson will not be isolated. The Government must give the people of Nelson an assurance that this situation will not continue. Mr Hawkins must lay his cards flat on the table, and tell us openly and honestly how he plans to fix this problem," said Dr Newman.

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