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1,500 police complaints outstanding

Chester Borrows MP
National Party Police Spokesman

26 November 2007

1,500 police complaints outstanding

National's Police spokesman, Chester Borrows, says it would be a mistake to believe the integrity of the police has been completely restored simply through the departure of one person - when there are 1,500 police complaint cases unresolved.

"The resignation of Clint Rickards will make life easier for police by lifting confidence and reducing pressure on them but, with many hundreds of cases on the books, there is still a lot of work to do."

He is releasing information showing that at the end of August there were 1,557 outstanding cases before the Police Complaints Authority, including one that is eight years old, and 84 that are more than four years old.

"Those numbers are of concern.

"Having cases dating back to 1999 - such as the one concerning pro-Tibetan demonstrators, which was reported back last week - does no one any good.

"The Commission of Inquiry into Police Conduct made a raft of recommendations, including that the PCA develop ways to reduce its backlog, and I know PCA head Justice Lowell Goddard has acted on a lot of those and many cases have been resolved in recent months.

"But there is still a way to go, and the Government should know it's on notice to follow through on the recommendations to help clear the backlog.

"After all, it took them seven years to move on many of the recommendations from Sir Rodney Gallen's review of the PCA in 2000.

"Perhaps if they had acted earlier on these we would not have this problem now.

"It's essential that progress continues to be made on the backlog so public confidence in the police can be restored."

Note: On Thursday, the Police Complaints Authority becomes the Independent Police Conduct Authority.

Attachment: answer to parliamentary questions

4233 (2007). Chester Borrows to the Minister of Justice (27 Mar 2007): How many complaints are currently before the Police Complaints Authority, specified by when they were first received? Mark Burton (Minister of Justice) replied: The number of complaints currently before the Police Complaints Authority by year of receipt are:

1999-00: 17 2000-01: 10 2001-02: 15 2002-03: 21 2003-04: 68 2004-05: 226 2005-06: 350 2006-07: 943 TOTAL 1650
15139 (2007).

Chester Borrows to the Minister of Justice (28 Aug 2007): Further to his response to question for written answer 4233 (2007), what are the updated figures on how many complaints are currently before the Police Complaints Authority, specified by when they were first received? Mark Burton (Minister of Justice) replied: The number of complaints currently before the Police Complaints Authority by year of receipt are:
1999-00: 1 2000-01: 8 2001-02: 12 2002-03: 12 2003-04: 51 2004-05: 124 2005-06: 182 2006-07: 892 2007-08: 275 TOTAL 1557


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