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Labour losing control of crime

Simon Power National Party Law & Order Spokesman

30 July 2006

Labour losing control of crime

The Government is losing control of crime, says National's Law & Order spokesman, Simon Power.

"They said they would be tough on crime and the causes of crime but figures show those promises are not worth the paper they are written on."

He is commenting on figures published today showing reported crime is up in at least eight of the 12 police districts, with violent crime up in all of them, including by 26% in one area.

"This is very concerning. These figures may be bad, but when you take into account the general perception that they are just the tip of the iceberg then we have a real problem on our hands.

"The Government should be very concerned about the level of unreported crime, where people have lost confidence in the justice system and the police's ability to respond.

"It all comes down to the resources this Government has given them and the targeting of funds to specific crime rather than overall crime, which limits the discretion of police on the front line.

"They are stretched to breaking point right now, and that will not be helped by the Commissioner's decision to lower the entry standard of recruits and target school leavers just so he can fill his staffing quota.

"Whether he gets the numbers he wants remains to be seen, but society will pay for it in the long run with a lack of quality policing.

"It is very concerning to see officers themselves talk about police brass ignoring drug enforcement and the rise of methamphetamine, and the effects that is now having on the rise in other crimes such as violence and burglaries.

"National has been calling for action on the methamphetamine scourge for years but this Government has utterly failed to act.

"Unfortunately, those chickens are now coming home to roost. It is way past time for this Government to act, though it is never too late."

ENDS

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