National admits merger a mistake
THE FAMILY PARTY
31 October 08
National admits police and transport merger a mistake
In response to a question from Family Party leader Richard Lewis, National’s Law and Order spokesman Simon Power admitted with “the benefit of hindsight,” that the merger between the Police and the Ministry of Transport in the 1990’s was a mistake.
At an Asian crime political forum in Botany Downs on Thursday night, Mr Lewis prefaced his question to Mr Power by describing the merger as a major mistake based on political expediency without understanding the implications on the ground.
“The merger between police and MOT was not supported by the frontlines. I believe it cost the force a lot of experience and is partly responsible for the challenges facing police today, such as morale issues and investigation botch ups due to understaffing and inexperience,” said Mr Lewis.
A former South Auckland police sergeant, Mr Lewis is contesting the Manurewa electorate against former Minister of Police, George Hawkins. He says as well as significantly boosting frontline numbers government also needs to look at ways of maintaining experience and attracting experienced officers back into the ranks.
“The best way to learn the trade is from seasoned frontline officers and investigators, not out of theory manuals. Boosting frontline numbers is a major priority but an important component is also how we can attract experience back into the job,” he added.