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ESR Hamstrung By Labour

ESR Hamstrung By Labour

Thursday 21 Aug 2003 Dr Muriel Newman Press Releases -- Crime & Justice

ACT New Zealand Police Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman today called on Labour to re-address the issue of investigative forensic research funding, after new information revealed a huge backlog of alleged burglary cases awaiting examination by the Department of Environmental Science and Research.

"Answers to my written Parliamentary Questions have shown that 996 samples relating to alleged cases of burglary are currently awaiting ESR examination - 221 of which have been waiting more than six months," Dr Newman said.

"Further, 272 samples have been waiting between two and six months. This is totally unacceptable. Crime is on the rise throughout the country, and recent crime statistics revealed that police are able to resolve only 17.8 percent of the 60,816 burglaries committed in the past year.

"With such a huge discrepancy, it is clear that - despite Police Minister George Hawkins' repeated assurances in Parliament - thanks to this soft-on-crime Government, police are not able to crack down on crime.

"Police funding has long been a problem under this Government. Criminals are now discovering that, contrary to popular belief, crime really does pay. The public deserves answers. I am calling on Mr Hawkins and his Labour colleagues to front up and tell the public exactly how they plan to address this serious issue.

"Police must be adequately resourced, to allow ESR to more effectively investigate these crimes. Then, and only then, can police get on with the important job of solving these crimes, catching the criminals, and bringing them to justice - so that law-abiding New Zealanders can finally feel safe in their homes," Dr Newman said.


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