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Police vetting fails to stop bad apple

Tony Ryall - National Police Spokesman

13 April 2004

Police vetting fails to stop bad apple

National is questioning police vetting procedures in light of allegations that one of the British police officers recruited to New Zealand allegedly provided false information in his application.

In answer to a parliamentary question from National MP Tony Ryall, the Police Minister, George Hawkins, revealed that one of the British Bobbies, who resigned last year, was being investigated for allegedly providing incorrect or misleading information in his application.

Mr Ryall says British Bobbies were recruited in a hurry to try to plug the staffing crisis that Mr Hawkins caused by cancelling the recruitment of New Zealanders in early 2001.

"Vetting procedures should have identified the problem before the officer concerned was given a job.

"It is worrying to think someone could be recruited into our police force by supplying false information that goes unchecked.

"This would not have happened if Mr Hawkins had not caused the staffing crisis in the first place, and he needs to provide a full explanation of why it happened", said Mr Ryall.

"The public deserve to know if the Minister is doing anything to ensure this doesn't happen again.

"With public concern about police standards growing, the Minister needs to explain what he's doing to make sure police recruitment procedures are up to scratch.

"The vast majority of our police are good people, but the service is being tarnished by this sort of case", says Mr Ryall.

Ends

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