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Strip police of traffic duties

Strip police of traffic duties

Wellington city's frontline police staffing crisis shows the time has come to seriously consider splitting traffic duties from the police, ACT police spokesman and deputy leader Dr Muriel Newman said today.

Police Association figures reported in the Dominion Post today, show the number of frontline police in Wellington city has dropped from 364 in 1997 to 280 in 2005.

Despite the drop in frontline staff, figures from Police Minister George Hawkins show the number of speeding tickets issued by Wellington police jumped from 8,930 in 2000 to 33,286 in 2004.

"These ticket numbers add fuel to the argument that the time has come to split traffic duties from the core role of policing," Dr Newman said. "The Government continually claims that it has given additional resources to the police, but the reality is that most of these new officers are drafted into traffic duties and funding is ring-fenced for that purpose.

"Our police force are fighting a growing crime wave and are seriously overwhelmed. Police numbers should be increased by at least 2,500 to match Australia's policing rate. I look forward to the budget and hope we will see an increase in our frontline police numbers," Dr Newman said.


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