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Bumbler Hawkins scares away new recruits

Hon. Tony Ryall MP
National Law and Order spokesman

29 July 2005

Bumbler Hawkins scares away new recruits

The police are finding it harder to get new recruits – and George Hawkins' incompetence is the main reason, says National’s Law and Order spokesman, Tony Ryall.

"What George Hawkins has done to destroy public confidence in the police is obviously affecting recruitment. That's the message I am getting from many officers up and down the country.”

A senior recruitment officer has been reported as saying recruitment is stalling in many places, not just Auckland. He puts it down to bad publicity around policing and the public's concern about Labour's revenue-gathering focus.

"Labour has turned the police into revenue gatherers instead of protectors and crime fighters. After six years of Labour's focus on revenue gathering, the police are issuing a whopping 340,000 extra speeding tickets every year. That’s a 65% increase.

"Along with the shambles of the 111 system, delays in responding to burglary complaints, and the ignoring of car break-ins, public confidence in the police is at an all-time low. And George Hawkins is to blame. This incompetent bumbler has refused to even accept that problems exist.

"New Zealand desperately needs more frontline officers. In the past six years the number of frontline police has actually risen by only 50. That's why 111 calls go ignored and people are no longer reporting crime.

"The fastest and most effective way to change this is to get rid of George Hawkins and the Labour Government. A new police minister with competence and determination will turn this around.”

Mr Ryall also notes that 700 experienced officers had left the police in that past two years.

ENDS

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