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Record number of assaults on police under Labour

Simon Power MP
National Party Justice & Corrections Spokesman

17 October 2008

Record number of assaults on police under Labour

Labour’s failure to get on top of violent crime is to blame for more police officers being assaulted on the job than ever before, says National’s Justice & Corrections spokesman, Simon Power.

“More than six police officers are assaulted every day in New Zealand. That’s an appalling statistic and Police Minister Annette King needs to front up on this.

“Labour have failed to get on top of violent crime because they didn’t rate law and order highly enough to pass laws that would have tackled youth crime, clamped down on the gangs, and stopped the spread of methamphetamine.”

The latest Police annual report reveals a record 2,384 assaults on police officers in 2007/08 – an increase of 27% over the 1,878 assaults in 1998/99 when Labour came to power, and an increase of 6% from 2,248 in just the past year.

“That’s an average of 6.5 police officers assaulted each day in the past year.

“These numbers bring into stark reality what our police face on the front line every day.

“It’s no coincidence that the rise in assaults mirrors the relentless increase in the level and intensity of violent crime and the prevalence of drugs such as methamphetamine.

“Since 1999 violent crime has increased by 47% – and by 11% in just the past year – while violence by youths aged 14-16 has increased by a staggering 52%.

“Labour has been slack in pushing through laws that would have made a big difference:

• Gangs could be facing stiffer sentences if Labour had bothered to pas the Organised Crime (Penalties and Sentencing) Bill, as they promised in 2007.
• It would be less profitable to belong to a gang if Labour had passed the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Bill, which was a 2005 election promise.
• There would be less crime on our streets if Labour had met their promises at the 1999 and 2002 elections to ‘crack down on youth crime’, and produced a credible plan to combat crime, as they promised at the 2002 and 2005 elections
• More gang members would be behind bars for longer had Labour delivered on its 2005 election promise to treat the use of illegal drugs during the commission of a crime as an aggravating factor at sentencing.

“Labour could have implemented all these measures during the past three years.

“They could have pushed through some, or even one, of these bills through Parliament under urgency last month, but they didn’t.

“Despite all their promises, they don’t think law and order is important enough and they sat on their hands while more police officers got assaulted.

“It’s time for a Government that will deliver on its promises.”

For Recorded Assaults on Police go to:
http://www.police.govt.nz/resources/2008/annual-report/part7nzpar.pdf


ENDS

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