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One police car + 200 sq km + 80,000 people

Friday, 1 July 2005

Alexander: One police car + 200 sq km + 80,000 people = bad joke

Revelations that an elderly Rodney couple waited 45 minutes for police to attend when a drunk stranger tried to enter their house in the middle of the night wasn't a 111 call issue, United Future law and order spokesman Marc Alexander said today.

"No, the call was answered, the details were correctly taken down. But the police only have one 'incident' car on duty after 10pm to patrol this region of around 200 square kilometres and around 80,000 people and it was clearly otherwise engaged," Mr Alexander said.

"One car on duty! In any responsible jurisdiction the Minister and the Commissioner would be gone on that fact alone," he said.

"The Government may well have decided to commit $45.5 million to improving police communications centres over the next five years, but frankly, if we don't have cars out there and frontline officers, it's a waste of time and money.

"Government neglect of police resources is nothing short of disgraceful and they have long since proved that they only respond when they are embarrassed by debacle after debacle.

"I hope it doesn't take a bunch of other terrorised elderly couples for the Government to address this one.

"Police cars are a basic. We are dealing with incompetence and neglect here to the top levels of both the police and the Government," Mr Alexander said.

ENDS

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