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Blue Line Among World's Thinnest

Blue Line Among World's Thinnest

Thursday 24 Apr 2003 Dr Muriel Newman Press Releases -- Crime & Justice

ACT New Zealand Police Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman today demanded a response from Police Minister George Hawkins in light of new information showing that the numbers of police in New Zealand are among the lowest in the developed world.

"At 18.2 police officers per 10,000 of population, New Zealand has one of the lowest rates of police in the developed world - in comparison, Australia has 22.4, the UK 24.3, and the US 28.3. Effectively, that means to catch up with Australia, we would need another 1,700 sworn officers, 2,500 to match the UK and 4,000 to match the US," Dr Newman said.

"With so few police, under so much pressure, it is little wonder that organised crime in New Zealand is rapidly outpacing the police's ability to fight it. Criminals are becoming increasingly organised and daring, and are netting bigger and bigger hauls - as shown by last month's theft of enough pseudoephedrine tablets to make up to $1 million worth of methamphetamine.

"The hugely worrying aspect of this crime is that the full effects will not be seen for some time - methamphetamine has been linked to a number of horrendous violent crimes and, with this theft, more of the drug is sure to cause mayhem on the streets.

"It is time the Minister - and his soft-on-crime Government -treated police, law and order as a priority. Police are short-staffed and under resourced. With the Budget to be released next month, I demand that the Minister tells the public how he will ensure police are able to do their job effectively - something this soft-on-crime Government is failing to do," Dr Newman said.


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