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Labour neglect results in 900 unassigned cases

Chester Borrows
National Party Associate Law & Order Spokesman

5 October 2006

Labour’s police neglect results in 900 unassigned cases

The Labour Government's neglect of police resourcing over the past seven years is to blame for 900 serious cases in South Auckland not being investigated, says National's Associate Law & Order spokesman, Chester Borrows.

He is commenting on a report of leaked emails from Counties-Manukau Area Commander Steve Shortland to Police Headquarters which express concern at a 'major build-up of unassigned files' which include 900 'serious' cases, and that the police's ability to respond 'to the next major event is severely restricted'.

"It is totally unacceptable for that number of so-called serious cases to be not assigned to an investigator.

"The longer that serious cases are unassigned, the greater the chance of the trail going cold, the longer victims have to wait for justice and closure, and in some cases the greater the risk to the public of further offending," says Mr Borrows, a former Detective Sergeant.

"And, as long as these cases go unaddressed the backlog can double because offenders don’t sit around waiting to be caught, they're out creating more victims and making more misery.

"Police ordered an audit of unassigned files in March last year after the Police Minister admitted there were 1,134 unassigned cases in Counties-Manukau, but clearly nothing much has happened since then.

"If there are 900 'serious' cases in Counties-Manukau, how many are there in total?

"Labour's neglect of police resourcing since 1999 is to blame for this. They turned a blind eye to police numbers for years and only agreed to increase front line police so they could get back into Government.

"I find it hugely ironic that the Minister repeatedly refers to new recruits as Labour’s answer to escalating crime when she and her Government denied any need for new police until it was released as National Party policy last year.

"They only very reluctantly agreed to an extra 250 community constables over two years - a pathetic response - after National said during the election campaign that it would recruit and resource the additional officers necessary to do the job.

”Labour doesn't understand crime, doesn't know how to address it, and now wants to use National Party policy to defend its own neglect."

ENDS

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