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Labour must get its policing priorities right

Friday 21 Jan 2005
Dr Muriel Newman
Press Releases -- Crime & Justice

ACT Deputy Leader and Police spokesman Dr Muriel Newman today called on the Labour Government to get its policing priorities right, in light of media reports of police failing to attend the scene of a drowning - despite having an officer, operating a speed camera, only 3km away.

Dr Newman was responding to the tragic death of a Hawke's Bay man whose body was finally removed from a local beach by a rescue helicopter 40 minutes after police were called and had failed to turn up to the scene of the drowning.

"Police Minister George Hawkins must get his priorities straight. How is it that police were unable to attend the scene of the drowning, yet, only up the road, there was an officer forking out speeding fines?" Dr Newman said.

"It's simply not good enough that enforcing the speed limit overrides investigating the death of a member of the public. Mr Hawkins must bear the responsibility for turning our police into revenue gatherers.

"Not that it's the police's fault. They are under-resourced, understaffed and under pressure to fufill speeding ticket quotas to gather revenue. I share the despair of many New Zealanders that these days it appears the only way to attract the attention of the police is to break the speed limit," Dr Newman said.


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