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Collins needs to explain three escapes in six days

Hon Clayton Cosgrove
Law and Order spokesperson

22 January 2009 Media Statement

Collins needs to explain three escapes in six days

Labour law and order spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove says Police and Corrections Minister Judith Collins needs to explain how three separate escapes, involving a total of six prisoners, could have happened in the past week, and to tell New Zealanders what she is doing about it.

“In November 2007 National’s Justice and Corrections spokesman Simon Power issued a media statement saying that two escapes in five days was a ‘worry’,” Clayton Cosgrove said.

“Well, if two escapes in five days is a worry, how do you classify six escapes in seven days? When does a mere oops become a gigantic ‘whoops’?”

Clayton Cosgrove said that since 15 January two prisoners had broken out of a police van in Palmerston North, three prisoners had broken out of an escort vehicle in Waikato, and another prisoner had escaped from Auckland Prison yesterday.

“And yet Judith Collins has nothing to say about any of these events.

“Since she has become Police Minister she has boasted about the opening of a new police station in Piopio and the launch of a Crime Reporting Line in Counties-Manukau, uttering platitudes about how committed National is to safer communities,” Clayton Cosgrove said.

“But both these projects came about, of course, because of funding provided by the former Labour government. Judith Collins might have some credibility if she matched her platitudes with genuine concern and commitment.

“Escapes from prison fell by more than 80 percent under nine years of Labour government, but this year prisoners have been taking off seemingly willy nilly.

“Judith Collins needs to take a reality check on just what the word commitment really means, and she needs to tell New Zealand communities just what action she is going to take to make them really safe, and when she’s going to take it.”


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