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Alexander: Police ignore ‘slam-dunk’ cases

Alexander: Police ignore ‘slam-dunk’ cases

Police claims of higher crime resolution rates are undone when “slam-dunk” cases with the evidence all gathered are put in their laps but still don’t get sorted, United Future’s Marc Alexander said in Parliament yesterday.

In citing the case of an Auckland private detective who had done all the leg-work, gathered the evidence and still been turned away when presenting it to police, he asked how the public were supposed to have confidence in the way police were working.

“Slam-dunk cases are being ignored - even after someone made three trips to the police, officers still refused to take a complaint,” Mr Alexander, United Future’s law and order spokesman, said in Parliament.

“And guess what? If no complaint is registered, there is no way a crime can be recorded as not resolved,” he said later.

He said dodgy handling and categorising of calls was getting out of hand under increasing pressure to make the “stats look good”.

“There has been undue pressure on police to record burglary call-outs as resolved, even when they attend and find that no burglary has occurred at all. That is not resolved. That is no crime actually occurred.”

Mr Alexander said he did not make such claims lightly, and did so only on first-hand information from serving police officers who were very unsettled about the direction policing is taking in New Zealand.

“The Government is forcing the police to generate good statistics rather than good policing,” he said.

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