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Crime Stats Show Greater Police Presence Needed

Media Release

For Immediate Release
Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Crime Stats Show Greater Police Presence Needed

The official crime statistics release for the 2007 calendar year shows violence continues to rise, and an increased police frontline response is needed, Police Association President Greg O'Connor said today.

"Once again, we have seen big increases in both grievous and serious assaults. Street disorder, intimidation and group assemblies, and other alcohol-fuelled offences are up again. This is now a well-established trend that continues to go un-checked. An increased street-level police presence is the best and only way to get on top of it," Greg O'Connor said.

"Despite the Government's '1000 new frontline police' promise, the reality is that in most areas real 'frontline' numbers - general duties shift staff and other primary response police units - have barely moved," Greg O'Connor said.

"Primary response units are the police officers that deal with violent crime and disorder. They are the police whose presence quells disorder and deters serious offending. It is no coincidence that violence and disorder offences are continuing to rise while frontline response staff numbers remain tight.

"There is a lot of good work being done by police round the country, and excellent results being achieved in most areas. But when it comes to new staffing and resource decisions, violence is clearly our biggest problem; so primary response policing should be our biggest priority. Otherwise, especially given the spate of serious violence in January, the official 2008 statistics will simply record New Zealand's further slide into violence and disorder," Greg O'Connor said.


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