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Police Minister fails on top priority

Simon Power National Party Law & Order Spokesman

2 February 2006

Police Minister fails on top priority

The public will be very disappointed at the latest police priorities botch-up, especially after all the bold promises made by new Police Minister Annette King, says National's Law & Order spokesman, Simon Power.

He is commenting on a report that it took nearly two hours for police to investigate the burglary of 20 rifles from a sports shop in Rotorua - because the car sent to the burglary was diverted to an incident where someone was breaking into cars.

"This is very serious stuff," says Mr Power. "How can you give a higher priority to a car break-in when 20 rifles have just been stolen?

"The police have since conceded that the burglary of such a number of firearms is unusual, and that they are very concerned that they may end up in the wrong hands.

"It's a pity they didn't show that concern at the time - or is this simply a symptom of the staff shortages on the front line. How come there was only one car available at 8am on a Wednesday? Or has our front line really become that thin under this Government?

"New Police Minister Annette King is falling at the first hurdle. She said her first priority was to restore the public's confidence in the Police but she is failing dismally.

"The new Commissioner will find that he or she has a huge job undoing the legacy of George Hawkins and seemingly continued by Annette King.

"Last year a poll showed this Government had dragged down public trust in the police to a new low of 59%*, and incidents like this will not help remedy that," says Mr Power.
(* UMR Research poll, Sunday Star Times, 1 January 2005)

ENDS

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