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The Police Have Better Things To Do

21 February 2005
Media Release

The Police Have Better Things To Do

New Zealand First law and order spokesperson Ron Mark is asking the Police Minister to explain how hard-pressed Police came to be used to collect cleaning money on behalf of a fellow minister.

“At a time when the public is losing confidence in the ability of the Police to respond to 111 calls and to investigate crime, it is bizarre that they should be asked to spare a patrol car and an officer to collect cleaning money,” said Mr Mark.

Mr Mark’s comments follow the revelation that an officer had been sent to the home of a young Dunedin couple to collect money for cleaning the windows of David Benson Pope’s office, where the couple had stuck posters during the Civil Union Bill campaign.

“This was not even a Police matter – no charges had been laid. The minister could have just sent a bill.

“How frustrating it must be to be a policeman when you want to get on with the real business of policing, to be sent on such a trivial errand.

“It must also be frustrating for the public, who are often told that police are too busy to attend a scene quickly, yet an officer can be diverted like this by a minister using his influence in such an inappropriate manner.

“It’s bad enough that the Police are restricted by a serious lack of front-line resources, but to have their time wasted in this fashion is simply outrageous. They have better things to do,” concluded Mr Mark.

ENDS

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