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Labour Must Drop The Spin And Take Action

Labour Must Drop The Spin And Take Action

ACT New Zealand Police Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman today condemned the Labour Government for refusing to take the rising methamphetamine crisis seriously, and for ignoring calls for action from local leaders and the wider community.

"With Auckland mayor John Banks planning to approach Police Minister George Hawkins for more police, and Waitakere mayor Bob Harvey seeking Government funding to introduce a private police force, it is clear that New Zealanders have had enough," Dr Newman said.

"Communities and leaders throughout the country are demanding action. Fighting methamphetamines is a police issue, making it a Government issue - yet Labour does nothing but reiterate its feeble Budget promises in a bid to assuage serious public concern.

"Police have warned they cannot cope with the rising tide of drug crime which, aside from cannabis, has risen 62.7 percent since Labour was elected. Police called for 169 extra officers from the Budget. Labour gave them 50, deployed 35 to the Solomons, and budgeted meth response teams to start in 2004 - when they were clearly needed sooner.

"Yet this soft-on-crime Government has no qualms about shelling out millions of dollars for pet projects, such as the arts and the America's Cup challenge. Labour is so out of touch with ordinary New Zealanders that it has no idea what projects should be priorities.

"Now the UN has ranked our meth abuse as among the highest in the world - yet was it any surprise, given Labour's failure to heed the calls of the community and police? Labour must stop repeating its pathetic Budget promises and tell the public just what it will do to address this issue. New Zealanders deserve more than rhetoric, we deserve action," Dr Newman said.

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