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Lives In Danger While 111 Report Is Sanitised

Hon. Tony Ryall MP
National Law and Order spokesman
20 April 2005

Lives in danger while 111 report is sanitised

National's Law and Order spokesman, Tony Ryall, says people's lives are being put in danger while Labour's review of the 111 system is in the Beehive getting its final spin.

He is commenting on an incident when a Wellington woman's two 111 calls to report a father and daughter drowning went unanswered, before being picked up five minutes later by an operator in Christchurch who did not know the location.

"Here we go again. People are risking death at the end of unanswered 111 calls while the draft external report sits in the Beehive being sanitised for more Labour Party spin.

"For every 111 death now, the blood will be on the Minister's hands. He's had months to get the fresh resources needed but he and the Commissioner have done nothing. The public has lost all faith in the 111 system because of Labour's incompetence.

"There has never been a time when faith and trust in the Police has been so low. That is a fact.

"Minister George Hawkins is recklessly endangering lives as he delays boosting staff numbers in call centres and on the frontline," Mr Ryall says.

"The call centres have been pleading for more staff for more than a year but this Minister continues to claim they have all the staff they need. In this latest incident even the operator told the caller that no one was listening to their pleas for more staff and that it was up to the public to make complaints.

"This should not be happening. The public's faith in the system has completely disintegrated under this Minister.

"The release of the Corboy Report will be delayed to coincide with Budget announcements. This is part of Beehive spin control. When it is finally released, the Commissioner should also release the submissions of key stakeholders like Telecom.

"Labour cannot put this right. National will."

Ends

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