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Get your facts right on 111 response, Ryall

Hon George Hawkins
Minister of Police

10 August 2005

Media statement

Get your facts right on 111 response, Ryall

Tony Ryall should get his facts right rather than have a swipe at hard-working police with half-cocked allegations, Police Minister George Hawkins said today.

"The only investigation needed into the police response to Monday's incident at Onehunga High School in Auckland is one that examines the fiasco of Ryall's misleading outburst.

"The facts are that a patrol car was despatched to Onehunga High within 56 seconds of the first call to the emergency 111 service on Monday. The car arrived within six minutes and a second car arrived a minute later.

"I can understand how teachers at the school, under stress at the time of the attack, mistakenly believed it took a long time for police to arrive. However it is totally unacceptable for an Opposition politician to seek to make cheap capital out of the incident by doubting the police's timeline on the incident.

"There have been problems in the past with the 111 emergency call service but this incident was not one of them.

"It is important that public confidence in the system is restored as quickly as possible. That is why earlier this year the government committed $45.5 million of new funding to help the Police Commissioner fix problems identified by an independent report into the 111 service.

"The speed with which police reacted to Monday's calls is the sort of response the public have a right to expect in emergency situations. It deserves to be commended, not criticised.

"Sadly Tony Ryall's outburst is just another example of he and Ron Mark bursting into print with unwarranted criticisms of Police only to be exposed as having got their facts wrong," Mr Hawkins said.


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