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Meth Programme Not Enough

Tuesday 3 Jun 2003 Dr Muriel Newman Press Releases -- Crime & Justice

ACT New Zealand Police Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman today welcomed the methamphetamine education programme Patua Te Ngangara, and applauded its creators for taking the developing drug crisis seriously - even if the Labour Government does not.

"ACT wholeheartedly supports the programme Patua Te Ngangara - or Battling the Devil - which shows that police, community groups and leaders are taking the drug epidemic seriously," Dr Newman said.

"ACT has long called for a zero tolerance approach to all crime, including illicit drug use. Unfortunately the Government talks tough, but is doing little else. Police have no dedicated resources to fight methamphetamine crime until next year. Frontline police do not even have ready access to protective clothing to shield them from violent attacks by P-crazed offenders. The ESR, charged with the forensic investigation of methamphetamine crime, is woefully underfunded, with almost 100 cases waiting to be investigated.

"I am calling on Police Minister George Hawkins to put his money where his mouth is. The Government must get serious about this problem. Labour must give police and the ESR the resources they need to do their part to win this war against meth - and they must do it now.

"If the Government fails to act, they must be held to account at the ballot box by citizens who believe it is the core role of government to keep people safe. Well-meaning education programmes, like Patua Te Ngangara, are simply not enough to help stem the rising tide of methamphetamine crime," Dr Newman said.

ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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