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Police under-resourcing linked to RSA case


Police under-resourcing linked to RSA case

The Labour Government’s pledge to crack down on burglary’s been exposed as a sham after convictions in connection with Auckland’s RSA murders.

“Police had not one, but two chances to arrest William Duane Bell in the week before the triple tragedy at the RSA, but they didn’t act,” says National Party leader Bill English.

“Police were given his description, his name and even an address, after he stole money from a South Auckland hotel.

“Nothing was done, not even after the Bar manager laid written complaints at two different police stations.

“Bell’s name was then given to police in connection with another burglary - again nothing was done,” says Mr English.

“It’s a sad indictment on our system, that neither burglary was investigated until after the killings.

“So much for Helen Clark’s promise to ‘crack down on burglary and youth crime.’

“It was supposed to be one of her priorities and she says so on her 1999 election pledge card,” Mr English says.

“It’s clear this lack of follow up is a reflection of a poorly resourced system that’s under strain.

“In this case, the public had virtually done all the work for the police, but nothing was done.

“Understaffing’s obviously responsible and blame for that that can be laid at the feet of George Hawkins, who cancelled three police training wings - that’s 240 officers, enough to fill the gaps in Auckland.

“The Police Minister insists burglaries will be responded to within 24 hours, but yet again he’s unable to deliver,” Mr English says.


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