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Cuts and Trickery Distort Crime Stats

Rt Hon Winston Peters
New Zealand First Leader

11 August 2014

Cuts and Trickery Distort Crime Stats

As the thin blue line of police gets thinner under National, the government is also resorting to trickery to cover up the true extent of crime, says New Zealand First.

“We have grave suspicions about crime statistics under National – we fear they are manipulating the figures just as they have with land sales to foreigners,” says New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters.

“National is using every means possible to pretend crime is dropping – they are squeezing the police budget with no new money in five years, they have cut police, fiddled statistics in South Auckland and now want police to give warnings instead of making arrests,” Mr Peters told a Grey Power public meeting in Taupo today.

“By reducing the number of police, National will also lower crime stats - there’ll be fewer arrests. People will be discouraged from reporting incidents as response times slow further and the number of convictions fall.

“The government needs to explain why seven sworn police jobs and 10 support staff jobs have been axed in Hawke’s Bay and Gisborne.

“But National hasn’t stopped there. They’ve got a new ‘let’s pretend to reduce crime’ game.

“Police have been told to issue warnings. So, no arrests, no convictions, lower crime figures. There’s no justice in this for the victims

“National has been mean and shortsighted with policing. Police station closures like Otahuhu and Papatoetoe and lack of extra resources are demoralising for police.

“More experienced police will leave. Further down the line a major and costly effort will have to be made to recruit and train police.

“Instead of adequate funding National has dished out smartphones and tablets– which are supposed to do the job of a policeman. Prime Minister John Key claimed issuing them to about 6000 police was equivalent to adding 345 police to the force.

“At the same time, National is telling its thin blue line to do more. This is a tragedy for police, for victims of crime and for New Zealanders.

“There’s no common sense in this. New Zealand First believes in adequately funding the police and actively recruiting more.

“We’ve done it before - we brought in 1000 more police on to the front line. We will continue to do that,” says Mr Peters.

ENDS

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