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Police work in cramped old house

Police work in cramped old house

Overworked police in Christchurch are operating out of a substandard base and the Labour Government is turning a blind eye, says National MP David Carter.

"Police at Sydenham Station are under enough pressure from several big inquiries without having to operate out of a cramped and dilapidated converted house," Mr Carter says.

The station suffered acid attacks on 10th January, and serious vandalism, including a torched car. Also, two of its officers were attacked in a hotel and another was slashed from shoulder to waist in an attack, and now staff are dealing with two homicide inquiries.

"At the moment, this police station is arguably the most high profile in New Zealand yet it is in a woeful condition, and the Government is choosing to ignore this fact when it suits them," Mr Carter says.

"In a flurry of self-seeking promotion in 1999, Ruth Dyson demanded an upgrade to the station, describing it as the "worst police station in the South Island ... the Sydenham police are currently working in a cramped and inefficient workspace and have been doing so for an unacceptably long time."

"But four years later nothing has been done," Mr Carter says. "In an area that has seen burglaries increase by 120% and unlawful takings up 84%, Sydenham police are expected to solve crime from totally unsuitable premises.

"In answers to questions I put to the Minister of Police, George Hawkins, he said an upgrade would not take place before 2007 and then would have to be assessed and prioritised. That will be nearly 10 years on from Dyson's self-serving tirade and still nothing will have been done.

"The turnaround by Labour on this issue exposes their gross hypocrisy in matters of community safety."

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