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Drop The Act, Labour

Drop The Act, Labour

Friday 22 Aug 2003 Dr Muriel Newman Press Releases -- Crime & Justice

ACT New Zealand Police Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman today demanded to know how Labour could continue its charade of cracking down on crime, when new information shows a huge backlog of drug clan labs awaiting examination by the Department of Environmental Science and Research.

"Answers to my written Parliamentary Questions have revealed that there are currently 94 clan lab samples awaiting ESR examination - 27 of which have been waiting more than six months, and 23 have waited more than three months," Dr Newman said.

"Further, recent crime statistics have shown that drug-related crime - aside from cannabis - has leapt a whopping 67.2 percent since Labour became Government. Some police are now being told that, should they discover a clan lab, they will have to wait at least two years before the evidence will be analysed and prepared for court.

"This then raises the question of how Police Minister George Hawkins can stand in Parliament and try to convince both the Opposition and the public that Labour is cracking down on crime. With police having already admitted they cannot cope with increasing drug crime, and communities throughout the country calling for action, it is clear that the only people who believe Labour's spin are Labour Ministers.

"It is time this soft-on-crime Government came clean. Maintaining law and order is a core role of any government - something Labour has forgotten. The continued squeeze on police funding, and its resulting impact on their ability to do their job, reflects Labour's blasé attitude toward rising crime.

"I am calling on Police Minister George Hawkins and his Labour colleagues to address the most serious issue of police funding, to enable them to allow ESR to deal with this massive backlog. Then, police could begin cracking down on drugs and keeping communities safe - perhaps then the Labour Government would have more to say than just empty spin," 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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