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Police Vetting Process Needs Urgent Attention

20 June 2006

Police Vetting Process Needs Urgent Attention

The public’s confidence in the vetting processes of Police will be shaken after today’s revelations of serious shortcomings by New Zealand First law and order spokesperson Ron Mark.

During oral questions in the House Mr Mark revealed that within the last month, private security employees with a history of serious offending have been working within the inner sanctum of a large police station. The security guards were hired to perform ‘suicide watch’ where inmates deemed as being a high risk of committing suicide whilst in custody are placed under 24 hour supervision.

“The appalling records of these security guards highlight serious deficiencies both in the granting of security guard licences and in Police processes,” said Mr Mark.

“This is an area within policing that has received a lot of attention of late and there are obviously still serious shortcomings which need urgent attention.

”I am pleased that the Minister has undertaken to investigate the incidents and hope that the whole vetting process is overhauled as a result of this.

“At least the prospect of 1250 extra police over the next few years will reduce the need for police to rely so heavily on security guards to provide such services,” concluded Mr Mark.


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