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Put Traffic Revenue To Good Use, Minister

Put Traffic Revenue To Good Use, Minister

New information has confirmed that Labour's investment in traffic policing is paying off, with a record increase in traffic fines collected, ACT New Zealand Police Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman said today.

"Answers to my written Parliamentary Questions have revealed that police issued $823,868,131 in traffic infringements from 1999 to November 2003, with this year's total expected to reach $236 million - the highest annual level ever," Dr Newman said.

"These record levels of traffic fines have been achieved as a result of a 22 percent increase in funding for traffic policing - at the expense of core police activity. While overall Government spending increased 17 percent between 1999 and 2003, core police funding - which does not include traffic policing - rose only 12 percent.

"That means that Labour has allowed funding for core police activity to lag behind, barely keeping pace with inflation, and not keeping up with the rising population.

"While ACT agrees that road safety deserves adequate funding, it should not be at the detriment of core policing - violent crime has increased 14.7 percent under Labour, while overall crime rose over the past two years after a decade in decline.

"Further, it is imperative that Labour recognises the importance of improving the roads themselves - passing lanes, wider shoulders, improving road camber and the like - in order to reduce the road toll, rather than focussing only on punitive measures against motorists.

"It is simply wrong that Labour has prioritised policing activity into revenue gathering, rather than fighting crime. Every government has a fundamental duty to keep communities safe -it is time Police Minister George Hawkins recognised this," Dr Newman said.

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