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Police resources now stretched

Police resources now stretched

The Insurance Council has today expressed concern that the New Zealand Police force is under resourced, under funded and under stress.

The Insurance Council says this should be of concern to all New Zealanders. The consequences of this situation are that so called petty criminals are now realising that they can continue to plague New Zealanders with theft from motor vehicles and burglary of peoples homes with only a cursory glance from the police force.

The Insurance Council is responding to reports in the New Zealand Herald that police have placed motor accidents and related offences on low priority.

The Insurance Council Chief Executive says, “insurance companies information now indicates that not only motor accidents but also burglaries are being placed on a lower priority than they should be. “The reason”, says Chris Ryan, “is not because the police don’t care, it is simply that they are under resourced, under funded and under stress”.

The consequences of the current situation will be very serious in a wide range of areas. Young criminals who believe that they are now exempt from the law will continue in criminal activities or increase them. New Zealanders in their homes and in their motor vehicles will see a significantly reduced level of security. Insurance companies will see increased losses and as a consequence, there is a potential for increased premiums.

Most importantly of all, there is now an unclear criteria for what is and isn’t a crime where justice must be applied.

The Insurance Council is now calling for the New Zealand Police to be resourced to the level where they are able to fully apply the law of the land to all people who break it.

All New Zealanders making insurance claims are required to report their claims to the police. However, evidence from the insurance industry indicates the police are simply noting their complaint and often not pursuing it in any way.

The problem may well be worse than currently believed, because Insurance Council figures indicate that as many as a quarter of New Zealand motorists are not insured and therefore may not report any incidents to police were they to happen. Up to 15% of New Zealanders are not insured in their homes and may not report burglaries to police, particularly if they feel that no action will be taken.

A significant increase in resources for the New Zealand Police is required to restore levels of justice expected by the New Zealand taxpayer and a proper application of justice to so called petty criminals who now believe that they are no longer a priority in the eyes of the law.

The Insurance Council estimates that criminals cost New Zealanders $20 million dollars a month by their activities and rejects any suggestion that motor vehicle theft and interference and burglary of peoples homes is in any way a minor crime.

The Insurance Council Chief Executive Chris Ryan, says “this area of criminal activity is one of the most destructive within New Zealand society and has long been recognised as the breeding ground of professional hard-core criminals who often move on to crimes of assault, sexual assault and murder”.

Police are now struggling with increased violent crime as a result of methamphetamine use. This requires more resourcing for the whole police force to ensure the current lack of priority for so called “minor crimes” does not continue.

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