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111 staff numbers drop despite crisis

Hon. Tony Ryall MP National Law and Order spokesman

10 March 2005

111 staff numbers drop despite crisis

National’s Law and Order spokesman, Tony Ryall, says police communications centre staff numbers have been dropping since the month before Iraena Asher went missing after her 111 calls in October last year.

Information supplied by the Minister of Police show frontline communications centre staff dropped by an estimated 28 since September last year.

“This has happened at a time when the 111 system has been under considerable public scrutiny,” Mr Ryall says.

“National has been saying for months now that staffing is the problem, and these figures show exactly where the problem is.

“For months now Mr Hawkins has been saying the 111 centres had extra staff but these figures show that, in fact, the numbers have been falling.

“Is it any wonder that we are seeing a drop in public confidence in 111 when the Minister is failing to give the centres proper resources. Labour turned down the Commissioner’s request for a significant boost in call centre staff numbers, and is suppressing release of those documents.

“While Labour is talking about new training courses we are told there are significant numbers of call centre staff in the process of resigning or transferring out, and this can only make the problem worse.

“The Police Commissioner should be implementing National’s four-point plan to boost call centre staff numbers immediately,” Mr Ryall says.

ENDS

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