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Police under-staffed & under-resourced

Police under-staffed & under-resourced

"The police are massively under-staffed and under-resourced," said ACT Deputy Leader and Police spokesman Dr Muriel Newman today.

The MP's comments follow the revelation that police response times to 111 calls in urban New Zealand had worsened over the last 12 months.

Figures released by Police Minister George Hawkins show police reached only 69 percent of priority-one jobs within 10 minutes in the July-November period last year, down from 71 percent in the same period in 2003.

"Labour is putting New Zealanders' lives at risk by failing to properly staff and resource the police. Last year's disappearance of Iraena Asher highlights the tragic consequences of police responding too late to 111 calls," Dr Newman said.

"George Hawkins' claim that `adminstrative problems' with the recording of response times could be partly to blame for the poor figures is nothing more than a red herring.

"The reality is that New Zealand needs an extra 2,152 police officers to match the policing rate of Australia, which has 24 sworn officers per 10,000 people - compared to New Zealand's 18.

"Labour has failed dismally in its management of the police portfolio, squandering taxpayers' money that should be used to fight crime by putting more police on the streets. It's time this Government got its act together - another 2,512 police would be an excellent start," Dr Newman said.

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