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Government losing the battle on crime

Government losing the battle on crime

More police on the streets and a crackdown on the soaring methamphetamine industry are now more crucial than ever in the fight against crime, says National's Police spokesman, Tony Ryall, commenting on the 31 December 2002 crime figures, out today.

"These statistics are appalling. New Zealanders will remember the Prime Minister assuring the country just days before the last election that crime was coming down. Clearly it isn't, and she knows it.

"National has told the Government over and over again that crime is out of control; the Police Minister's just bumbled around, fudged on police numbers and done absolutely nothing.

"Today's 2.1% increase in violent crime for the year ended 31 December shows that since Labour came in, violent crime has gone up 13%. This, from a Government which promised to crack down on crime and the causes of crime.

"The cold, hard facts are that in the 12 months to December 31, homicides rocketed up 31%, non-cannabis drug offences soared 28%, sex attacks jumped nearly 17% and robberies went up by 11%.

"Even the burglary rate went up, despite the Government trumpeting this as one of its crime-busting success stories. Today, less than one in 13 burglaries in Auckland is solved.

"National says there has to be a stronger police presence on the streets, instead of giving out tickets on the highways. And there has to be a co-ordinated crackdown on the hotbed of violence - gangs and the supply of methamphetamine.

"Methamphetamine is driving burglary and the increasingly random acts of violence we are seeing across the country. No part of society is immune from the consequences of this dangerous drug," says Mr Ryall.

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