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Enhancing public confidence in Police

April 21, 2005 Media Statement

Enhancing public confidence in Police

Police Minister George Hawkins is welcoming amendments to the terms of reference that will allow the Commission of Inquiry into Police Conduct to resume.

"Police are only too well aware that they represent the law but are not a law unto themselves," said Mr Hawkins. "I am confident the vast majority of staff will welcome any moves to help consolidate public confidence in New Zealand Police."

The Minister also welcomed a separate examination of Police culture launched by the Police Commissioner.

"New Zealand Police is a bigger, better-funded organisation than at any time in its history and is certainly robust enough for its culture to emerge enhanced by any review into its behaviour and attitudes," Mr Hawkins said.

"In the year 2005, police are part of the community they serve and, as such, are expected to honour and respect the norms of behaviour shared by the community at large. Offensive behaviour by any officer should not be tolerated, by the public and by colleagues.

"Police staff have a right to the same safe working environment enjoyed by the public they help protect and they therefore have a vested interest in facilitating any culture-change that comes about as a result of the Commissioner's review.

"The Police demonstrate through their actions every day that they are a professional, motivated and thoroughly capable service that the public can have confidence in. That confidence can only be enhanced as a result of transparent inquiries into their attitudes and practices."

ENDS

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