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Police deliver on Labour's 'traffic first' policy

Hon Tony Ryall MP National Party Police Spokesman

21 February 2005

Police deliver on Labour's 'traffic first' policy

National Party Police spokesman Tony Ryall says the more than three-fold increase in officer issued speeding tickets is more proof of Labour's 'traffic first' policy.

Figures received by Mr Ryall from George Hawkins in response to written questions show the number of police issued speeding tickets has climbed from 137,427 in 2000 to 395,912 last year.

"Police Minister George Hawkins must move urgently to change Police priorities to reduce the risk of more 111 failures. "The people of this country cannot afford to wait months for the Commissioner's inquiry to report back. We need action now.

1. Start training additional 111 call centre operators now. It is widely known staffing is the major problem at the Police communications centres.

2. In the meantime, start quick refresher courses for retired police staff - sworn and non-sworn - who are familiar with the call centre work and procedures who can assist on a short-term basis.

3. Suspend enough speed camera activity to free up officers to improve response times.

4. Commissioner to issue clear orders that traffic staff must respond to Priority One calls as directed, so that Police respond to a higher proportion of calls where there is some uncertainty.

Mr Ryall says these measures will protect the public while the 111 inquiry grinds on.

"Confidence in 111 is collapsing and urgent steps are needed to restore public faith and to support the Police," says Mr Ryall.


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