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Labour’s record: record low police confidence

Chester Borrows MP
National Party Police Spokesman

24 April 2008

Labour’s record: record low police confidence

The Labour Government must move to urgently address the crisis of confidence in the police, says National’s Police spokesman, Chester Borrows.

“It’s very concerning when a survey of police morale finds that almost a quarter of police officers are so unhappy at work that they are ‘psychologically absent’ from the job.

“That is not what we want or need from our frontline police.

“How could Labour allow it to get so bad?

“Labour must take some responsibility when officers cite heavy workloads, lack of staff and resources, and poor management as the main reasons for their disillusionment.

“The drop in police morale is also a result of low public confidence in the police caused by Labour’s bungles – like the 111 crisis, traffic ticket quotas, slow response times, the Louise Nicholas case, and other police conduct issues.

“They all contributed to public confidence dropping at one stage as low as 59%, and that has helped fuel low police morale.

“Labour has allowed this issue to drift, even after earlier surveys indicated there was a problem.

“Perhaps their focus on getting 1,000 new police has distracted them from improving conditions for existing officers.

“They have ignored cries of help from frontline police.

“For example, when a 20-year veteran went public in 2006, saying he would not recommend the police as a career because ‘the price on people’s personal lives is just too high’, there was no response at all from Police Minister Annette King.

“In an all-too-familiar pattern, the Minister has once again gone to ground and said it’s not her place to comment on the survey findings.

“But if she's not responsible for morale in the organisation for which she is Minister, then what is she responsible for?”

ENDS

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