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Police report highlights Hawkins' failure

Tony Ryall National Police Spokesperson

22 November 2002

Police report highlights Hawkins' failure

National says the report released today on Auckland policing is a catalogue of one failure after another by an incompetent Police Minister who is unable to grasp the seriousness of the Auckland policing crisis.

"George Hawkins' bumbling over the rotting homes crisis is eclipsed only by his incompetence with his Police responsibilities and his ignorance of Auckland's dire policing problem," says National's Police spokesman, Tony Ryall.

"The answer here is that Auckland needs more police and they need to be allocated to fighting crime, not motorists. There's no point having the highways stacked with patrol staff while criminals run free in our cities.

"Without a strong police presence on the streets of Auckland, we can't prevent entry-level crime and maintain a sense of security in the community. Currently in Auckland, less than one in ten burglaries is actually solved and the police's own statistics show Auckland City will not get one extra officer this year.

"The report shows that Mr Hawkins' management of additional money has not worked, because commanders can no longer shift police to where they are needed.

"To quote "..the task-specific nature of these allocations has been eroding the flexibility historically available to me and to District Commanders to distribute resources across emerging problem areas in a timely or responsive manner."

"Public confidence in the Minister's leadership of the Police has been found wanting. Like the rotting homes debacle, he knew of this looming crisis long ago, but did nothing. No, worse, he went ahead and cancelled 240 recruits at the beginning of 2001.

"National has been saying for two years that Auckland needs more cops on the streets with the resources focussed on reducing crime. The Commissioner's own report backs up what we've been saying," says Mr Ryall.


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