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Dunne: independent 111 inquiry imperative

Friday, 11 February 2005

Dunne: independent 111 inquiry imperative

United Future leader, Peter Dunne, says Police Minister George Hawkins is regrettably missing the point over Mr Dunne’s call for an independent inquiry into the emergency 111 phone system.

“This is not about Mr Hawkins’ or Police Commissioner Rob Robinson’s competence to do their jobs, this is about the very scary prospect that public confidence in the police force and 111 system is being rapidly and irretrievably eroded and New Zealand simply cannot afford that,” Mr Dunne said today.

“No matter how well the current internal reviews are conducted, they will inevitably be regarded with suspicion as inside cover-up jobs.

“Only an independent review by a retired judge or someone of similar authority will be able to persuade the public that the police are there to defend them primarily against violent criminals; that the police will turn up when they get an emergency call; and that the issuing of traffic tickets is a legitimate safety exercise and not simply another Government revenue-raising technique.

“I repeat: the issue here is about public confidence in the police and only an independent audit of the internal reviews will help restore that.

"The police are entitled to public confidence; in return, the public are entitled to expect the Minister and the police will act decisively to restore public confidence whenever that is being eroded,” said Mr Dunne.

ENDS

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