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Police Minister has priorities all wrong

Simon Power National Party Law & Order Spokesman

16 November 2005

Police Minister has priorities all wrong

National's Law & Order spokesman, Simon Power, says he is horrified at Police Minister Annette King's confirmation that it is more important for police to answer her correspondence than to investigate homicides and child abuse.

He is commenting after Mrs King's answers to questions in the House concerning the Investigations Management Plan for the Auckland Police District.

The plan shows that responses to Ministerial correspondence are to be given the highest priority ranking, 'Mandatory', while child abuse, paedophilia and violent crimes are ranked 'Priority'. A Mandatory service must be performed 'on demand', while a Priority service 'is an important output and should be performed'.

"So, let me get this right," says Mr Power. "Ministerial correspondence is to be performed 'on demand', while child abuse investigations 'should' be performed?

"Is this really what our policing has come down to - that this Labour Government has let resources erode so far that police are forced into ridiculous prioritising like this?

"This is outrageous and should be of very real concern to every New Zealander. Unfortunately it doesn't stop there.

"The Management Plan also reveals that 20% of investigation files in the Auckland District, 600 in total, have not been assigned to an investigator, and that the district is 50 investigators short.

"Annette King must explain to the public why answers to her questions are more important than solving a homicide or a case of child abuse.

"People go to bed at night believing that the Government has their security as its number one priority, but after looking at this report you do have to wonder what is going on," Mr Power says.

ENDS

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