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Police Minister silent over officer's claims

Simon Power National Party Law & Order Spokesman

22 February 2006

Police Minister silent over officer's claims

There is a worrying silence from Police Minister Annette King over a 20-year officer's serious revelations that he would not recommend the police as a career, says National's Law & Order spokesman, Simon Power.

"Why has the Police Minister not said anything after this officer put his job on the line and spoke out on Radio Live? What he had to say has deep implications for the Police and its recruitment drive."

When asked if he would recommend the police as a career, 'Officer X' said: 'No, definitely not. It's sad, you know. We need good people in the police, we really do. But the price on people's personal lives is just too high because it does change you forever.'

"This is clearly a dedicated officer who cares deeply about his job, but who is very concerned about what is happening in the justice system and how it affects police," says Mr Power.

"If Annette King said something - anything - we would at least know she is interested in the welfare of her officers and is concerned about retention and recruitment.

"The public needs to be assured she will look closely at what can be done to examine the concerns raised by this officer and others. It is worth noting that the Police Association echoed his concerns."

The issues the officer pointed to as the main frustrations for police were:

* 'The joke' of concurrent sentencing.

* Watching people re-offend after police opposed bail.

* The protection of offenders and the humiliation of victims in court.

* Judges 'divorced from the reality of crime and its effect on victims' handing down inadequate sentences.

"We need more police, and the Clark/Peters Government promised 1,000 over the next three years. We need the Minister to assure the public that those extra police will be delivered on time," says Mr Power.

ENDS

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