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Crime Statistics Don't Tell Full Story

Crime Statistics Don't Tell Full Story

No matter how Police Minister George Hawkins tries to spin it, the fact remains that this Government is failing in its duty to keep law-abiding New Zealanders safe, ACT New Zealand Deputy Leader and Police Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman said today.

"While crime statistics released today show some progress, they tell only part of the story. Answers to my written Parliamentary Questions show that, in June 2004, the average response time for Counties-Manukau police to attend a burglary callout was 19 hours and 22 minutes. Auckland City follows closely on 17 hours and 31 minutes." Dr Newman said.

"Part of the reason is that violent crime - always a police priority - has risen 14 percent since Labour took office. Further, this Government has been relentless in diverting funding into traffic policing - to the extent that, in 2002, Police Commissioner Rob Robinson stated:

`In all cases, staff funded from Government initiatives, have been ring-fenced for specific areas. Hence, of 375 newly funded sworn staff allocated by strategic priority, the main beneficiaries have been road policing (285 positions), counter-terrorism (33 positions), and youth aid (27 positions).

He went on to say:

`Because Auckland districts are not fully up to strength, the ability of Police to respond to calls for service and to adequately investigate many offences that have promising leads of enquiry is compromised'.

"New Zealanders have a right to feel safe - especially in their own homes but, thanks to Labour's approach to crime, police have not been able to get on top of this problem. While police are doing their best, they cannot be expected to do their job under a Government that appears to be more interested in revenue gathering.

"I urge Mr Hawkins to heed Police Association President Greg O'Connor's call today, to bring our policing numbers up to international levels and let police to do what they do best: fight crime and catch criminals," Dr Newman said.

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