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Police finally admit shirt botch-up

Chester Borrows MP
National Party Police Spokesman

5 February 2008

Police finally admit shirt botch-up

The Police have finally admitted they are having to buy new shirts for all officers because existing shirts are too hot under the new stab-resistant vests, says National’s Police spokesman, Chester Borrows.

“I said in June last year that they would have to buy 35,000 new breathable shirts because they hadn’t tested the vests properly under all conditions, but Police Minister Annette King ran for cover.

“Her only comment was she ‘didn't have anything to do with buying the new shirts’, though she admitted in answer to a parliamentary question that they were ‘part of a wider review of the entire police uniform’.

“Now, seven months later, Police magazine Ten-One says the review found that the present shirt does not meet operational needs ‘when worn under overt SRBA [vests]’, that a supplier has been selected, and that they will be available from March.

“They didn’t admit it at the time because they were in the middle of the debacle over stab-resistant vests, which were delayed because they were the wrong colour, then the wrong material, then the wrong design, then many were the wrong sizes.

“And that led to them having to design new duty jackets because the old ones didn’t fit over the vests.

“What started as a project to provide frontline officers with more protection transformed into an inadvertent makeover of almost the entire uniform.

“The public will be very interested in the final cost of this makeover."


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