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Public Enemy #1: Mum In A Dressing Gown

Public Enemy #1: Mum In A Dressing Gown

Wednesday 23 Jul 2003 Dr Muriel Newman Press Releases -- Crime & Justice

It seems that mothers driving their children to school, who forget to put their driver's licence into their dressing gown pockets, pose more of a risk to the community than real criminals - at least, that seems to be Labour's take on the situation, ACT New Zealand Police Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman said today.

"Crime Statistics show that, every hour, 50 crimes are committed in New Zealand. But, instead of being given the mandate to combat crime, police have been directed to issue at least one traffic ticket per hour," Dr Newman said.

"In an hour where each police officer is trying to fill their ticket quota, criminals are busy converting four cars, committing five violent crimes, six drug offences, seven burglaries and 15 thefts.

"While these criminals run around burgling, robbing and assaulting with virtual impunity, law-abiding citizens are being penalised for driving a little over the speed limit, or forgetting to carry their driver's licence.

"Perhaps police should be given a different kind of quota. Instead of being directed to catch one driver, each police officer should be charged with catching one criminal, or solving one crime, an hour. This would go much further toward dealing with our rapidly rising crime rate.

"Labour, however, is a believer in the `spend money to make money' philosophy. Money spent on speed cameras and new cars is an investment. The return comes from law-abiding New Zealanders who, after being pulled over and ticketed for not having their licence, arrive home to find their home has been burgled - and then must wait 19 hours for police to arrive.

"While ACT understands the importance of traffic policing, we do not believe that it should be to the detriment of other police duties. Police Minister George Hawkins must allow police to adopt a zero tolerance to criminal offending - solving real crime, and catching real criminals," 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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