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111 debacles tie into public unease with police

1 November, 2004

Alexander: 111 debacles tie into public unease with police priorities

The public is going to become less and less tolerant of poor police responses to emergency 111 calls for as long as they know that all-too-scarce police resources are going into "pinging every driver doing 55kph in suburban back streets", United Future's Marc Alexander said today.

"People know what's what, and no amount of police top brass fobbing off the issue will get around the fact that police efforts are being unduly split and not going where the public think they should," he said.

"We have now had two high-profile recent cases of failed police responses to 111 calls that will out-weigh a thousand low-level speeding infringements - and the Government and the police need to realise that," Mr Alexander, United Future's law and order spokesman, said.

He said it was irrelevant whether or not police were involved in traffic patrolling specifically in these cases.

"It is about where the focus is going. This issue won't go away. It needs to be dealt with.

"The New Zealand Police have long held the respect and confidence of the general public. It is slowly being whittled away and that has the makings of a tragedy for us all," he said.

ENDS

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