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Firefighters raise alarm on 'P' epidemic

Tony Ryall
National Police Spokesman

5 November 2003
Firefighters raise alarm on 'P' epidemic

National's Police spokesman Tony Ryall says the Government has to 'wake up' and stop being soft on drugs.

"More lives will be lost as this Government dithers on what to do about the 'P' epidemic," says Mr Ryall.

His comments follow reports that the country's firefighters are becoming increasingly worried about the escalation in clandestine methamphetamine labs.

"The call by the country's firefighters for extra resources to deal with meth lab busts proves that the Police Minister has turned a blind eye to the 'P' problem for too long.

"George Hawkins is completely oblivious to the single biggest policing crisis in years. 'P' is out of control in Auckland and all he can offer is a couple of five-man teams which won't start work until next year," says Mr Ryall.

"The police know this is too little too late. Community groups are crying out for the Government to "do something'" and now firefighters are joining the call.

"Why should firefighters be in the frontline of dangerous meth lab busts without the proper resources to cope? It's all very well for George Hawkins to say he is tackling the problem, but with what?

"So far, all we've been promised is a couple of specialist police teams - next year. By that time, another $200 million of drugs will have hit the streets," Mr Ryall says.

"The Government must toughen up the laws on the manufacture and distribution of 'P'. And it must give those struggling to control this crisis the tools to cope.

"Far too many New Zealanders are falling victim to 'P' - and the blame lies squarely with this soft-on-drugs Government," says Mr Ryall.


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