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Govt forced to abandon police review

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The National Government has buckled under pressure from the Opposition and the weight of public opinion and stopped the senseless sacking of vital police support staff, Labour police spokesperson George Hawkins said.

"But it has failed to go far enough. 195 staff have already gone, and the Government's pathetic claim that cancelling further cuts amounts to providing an "additional" 90 staff, is a desperate attempt to put a positive gloss on an exercise that has been an unmitigated public relations and public safety disaster."

George Hawkins said the Government is in a shambles on the issue and can't even get its story straight.

"Police Minister Clem Simich is rejecting any suggestion of a connection with the failed INCIS project.

"Contrast that with what his boss Jenny Shipley told the House a few hours earlier.

"We have considered further the delays in INCIS… and as a result… we will not be taking out further un-sworn (sic) staff from districts…"

"The Government has finally called a halt to the madness, but it must now repair the damage already done. Front-line police must be able to put aside their typewriters and go back to catching crooks.

"Other aspects of the Police Review must also be reversed.

"Wellington must not lose 26 CIB staff. Levin must not lose 11 sworn officers. Suburban police stations in cities around the country must remain open.

"INCIS is $30 million over budget and is a disaster. $10 million has already been spent on the Police Review and now the Government's lost its stomach for that project too.

"The new Labour Government will direct a great deal of energy into cleaning up National's mess and restoring the morale of the police and the confidence of the public," Mr Hawkins said.

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