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Burglary response times up in 10 of 12 districts

Burglary response times up in 10 of 12 districts

Hon Tony Ryall MP National Police Spokesman

05 March 2003

The National Party is scoffing at Government assurances that it's committed to beating burglary, after releasing figures showing burglary response times have climbed in 10 of 12 police districts.

"It would be laughable if it wasn't so serious for every New Zealander who has things they expect to be protected," according to the National Party Police Spokesman Tony Ryall.

"Burglary is the entry level to other offending, a tough line on burglary will almost certainly send the right message to those that might go on to commit more serious crime," Mr Ryall says.

"Take convicted triple murderer William Duane Bell.

"If police had acted on complaints about an earlier burglary, Bell may not have been free to commit the RSA killings.

"Every good cop knows how important it is to be hot on any criminal's tail, but these statistics show it's becoming more difficult for our police to get on the front foot with Kiwi crims," says Mr Ryall.

"Auckland city's one of the two areas to post a better burglary response time in the past year, but that may have come at the expense of the North Shore/ Waitakere Districts as well as the Counties/Manukau patch.

"If you add the greater Auckland area together there's been a 1.4% increase in burglary response times, despite the much bigger police presence during the Americas Cup.

"It's also worth remembering the situation's been so bad in Auckland, many residents are paying for private security patrols.

"I believe that sort of co-operation between the public and private sectors could be developed.

"The increase in burglary response times was worst in my own Bay of Plenty region where victims now wait more than 10 hours for police to turn up, an increase of five hours on last year.

"That response time's nearly doubled - up more than 90%.

"If that's what George Hawkins means by a 'crack-down on burglary' it's the crims who should be laughing," Mr Ryall says.

Ends

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