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Hawkins Reveals Crime Is Out Of Control

Hawkins Reveals Crime Is Out Of Control

Tuesday 3 Sep 2002

If the Police Minister's pre-election crime claims were true, May and June of this year were the two most crime-ridden months in New Zealand's history, ACT Police Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman said today.

"On July 17, George Hawkins and Phil Goff released a press release titled, "Crime trends down", presenting "provisional" ten-monthly crime figures. Their early release of crime figures is completely unprecedented. The Ministers told the public that over ten months, crime had fallen in every category except property abuses.

"The real annual figures were released last week, revealing shocking increases across the board for every single category of crime, as well as declining resolution rates.

"If Mr Hawkins' "ten-monthly provisional" figures were accurate, this would mean the following two months were the most crime-ridden ever. After a year where an average 70,000 crimes were committed every two months, there must have been 91,181 separate crimes in May and June.

"If we believe Mr Hawkins' "provisional" figures, then overall crime must have risen by 29 percent in May and June. Property abuse must have climbed by 26.6 percent, administrative crime by 40.1 percent, property damage by 15.9 percent, dishonesty offences by 31 percent, drugs and antisocial crimes by 28.4 percent, violence by 20.2 percent and sexual offences by a massive 135.8 percent.

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"We have a very difficult predicament. Either Mr Hawkins' pre-election figures were accurate, and crime has sky-rocketed in recent months to unprecedented levels, or Mr Hawkins and Mr Goff released misleading figures to silence the debate on crime and justice during the election campaign.

"Either scenario creates a very difficult situation for New Zealand families - either crime is out of control, or the integrity of our Justice and Police Ministers has been brought into question," Dr Newman said.

Ends

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