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Heed The Police - Before It's To Late

Heed The Police - Before It's To Late

Wednesday 13 Oct 2004

Dr Muriel Newman - Press Releases - Crime & Justice

ACT New Zealand Deputy Leader and Police Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman today urged the Government to heed Police Association President Greg O'Connor's call for more police, in order to meet the public's demand for greater security and police presence on the streets.

"Thanks to Labour's soft-on-crime approach, the public has begun to lose confidence in police - to the point where a Taranaki farmer, frustrated at the theft of his stock, has vowed to take matters into his own hands the next time trespassers enter his property," Dr Newman said.

"But this is not a situation of the police's making. The Government's refusal to regard the maintenance of law and order as a funding priority has left police over-stretched, under-resourced and unable to address the rising tide of violence and drug crime.

"New Zealand already has one of the hardest-working police forces in the world - yet we are one of the world's most under-policed nations. We would need an additional 2,300 sworn officers to match policing levels in Australia, and another 4,195 to match those of the US.

"ACT does not condone vigilante behaviour, but we understand this farmer's frustration - and we understand the equal frustration felt by police who want to be able to do their job, but are hindered by a Government that would rather use police to gather traffic revenue.

"I am calling on Police Minister George Hawkins to heed the Police Association's call for more sworn officers. If he continues to ignore his Government's duty to keep citizen's safe, any resulting vigilantism will be laid firmly at his door," Dr Newman said.


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