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Dunne: Cash-collecting cops losing respect

Dunne: Cash-collecting cops losing respect - list and target traffic black spots

The police are in danger of losing their greatest weapon - the respect of middle New Zealand, United Future leader Peter Dunne said today.

In proposing a way in to dispel the growing public perception that the police are fining drivers primarily as a revenue-gathering exercise, Mr Dunne said the police should publicly list all road safety black spots and refocus their efforts on those areas.

“Target them clearly and cleanly. Let people know where these areas are. End the six-officers-loitering-around-a-back-street-stop-sign approach to policing where they might as well be standing there with a cash register.

“No one supports the breaking of our laws - traffic laws or any others. But Kiwis have a real sense of fairness and perspective - and if the police are perceived as continuing to abuse that, they will have lost something very special.

“And that should really frighten them, and it should worry every New Zealander,” he said.

“There are few police forces around the world that have been so consistently held in high regard by the public they serve, as the New Zealand police. And that has been a hard-won reputation for fairness and for honesty.

“The day the New Zealand public is utterly convinced that they’re being fined simply to generate revenue is the day that will change.

“And that day is almost upon us right now,” Mr Dunne said.

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