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Need For Urgent Commission Of Inquiry

Need For Urgent Commission Of Inquiry

ACT New Zealand Police Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman today called on the Government to set up a wide-ranging Commission of Inquiry into the police, in light of the emergence of new concerns regarding the operation of the police force.

"These allegations - that former undercover police officers, who were expected to use drugs, tampered with evidence and committed perjury - follows hard on the heels of sexual assault complaints against present and former officers," Dr Newman said.

"Serious questions have also been raised about the integrity of the Police Complaints Authority - further undermining the overall perceived integrity of police. These swirling allegations are putting the good name of the police in jeopardy.

"In a democratic society, police are bestowed with extensive powers and authority - and the public must have confidence that those powers will not be abused. Any suggestion that those powers are being misused requires immediate attention.

"Police are our frontline army in the war on crime. Their job is to keep the law-abiding public - and its property - safe. Not only must they be seen to be above board and free from corruption, but we must ensure they receive the support they require to do their job properly.

"Police are often placed in dangerous situations, in order to keep the public safe. As a result, we have an obligation to support police officers properly when they need help - to go the extra mile for them, as they have for us.

"I would expect the Commission of Inquiry to look at the allegations that have been raised and are now in the public arena, and also to investigate whether police are receiving the support they need - from the outside, the fact that they are forced to operate short-staffed and without adequate equipment - whether that is cellphone, cars or protective clothing - is endangering their lives and their ability to do their job properly," Dr Newman said.

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