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Bad week for Labour, law and order

Bad week for Labour, law and order

National's Law and Order spokesman, Simon Power, says two damning reports on the state of law and order in two days makes a bad first week for Labour's new Police and Justice Ministers.

A police report out in the media yesterday showed that responses to ministerial correspondence and parliamentary questions are given higher priority than homicides, serious drug offences and child abuse.

The Annual Report from the Ministry of Justice, released on Friday, shows that:

o 56% of crimes go unresolved.

o Up to 20% of youth offenders go on to become repeat offenders as adults.

o Incidents of family violence and car theft are significantly under-reported.

Mr Power says the two reports are undoubtedly linked.

"When the police are too busy doing the Minister's paperwork, letting one in five cases go unassigned, its little wonder that more than half of all crimes are never solved.

"It is also little wonder that more and more crimes are going unreported - poor political leadership of the police force has seen public confidence plummet. This is a very grave situation indeed.

"New Zealanders should know that if they phone the police they will get help and they should be able to be confident that the crime will be solved. At present, this is not the case so more and more crimes are going unreported. When criminals see that they can get away with offending they continue to do so, committing worse and worse offences.

"I want an assurance from the new Minister of Police that she will allow the police to get their priorities in order so this dangerous cycle is stopped, " says Mr Power.


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