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The only crime wave is in Tony Ryall's head

The only crime wave is in Tony Ryall's head

Police crime figures stand up to scrutiny, says Minister.

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The hysterical reaction to the latest Police crime figures from National and New Zealand First underline how much they rely on the fear factor to sell their policies, says Police Minister George Hawkins.

"The methodology around recording and presenting crime figures is transparent and rigorous. It is also traditional: Police assembled and presented the figures in the same way when National and NZ First were in government and crime was going through the roof."

Figures for 2004/05 show total crime down 7.1 per cent, with 30,000 fewer crimes recorded. The crime rate, at 968.8 offences per 10,000 population, is the lowest since 1981.

"Tony Ryall claims that crime is being massively under-reported but admits he has no empirical evidence to back it up," said Mr Hawkins. "Ryall has been scare-mongering for long enough: if he can't put up he should shut up, or perhaps even congratulate our Police on doing a good job.

"Winston Peters makes an even bigger fool of himself by blustering about a killing or rape occuring every hour. That's 8760 rapes or murders a year, Mr Peters. Police recorded 617 murders, rapes and attempted rapes in the past year, so would appreciate hearing from you with the details of the other 8143.

"Ryall and Peters have been going around the country all year like snake-oil salesmen, trying to panic people into buying their cure-all medicine of extreme penalties and impossible police numbers.

"Hopefully, the latest fall in crime will encourage people to put their trust in the police men and women who do such a great job in keeping our homes and roads safe, rather than believing the blow and bluster of increasingly desperate politicians."

ENDS

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