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Police stations set for the chop in cost cutting

2 Spetember 2009
Media Statement

Police stations set for the chop in latest cost cutting measure

Police stations up and down the country face closure as the National Government forces Police to further slash costs, Labour law and order spokesman Clayton Cosgrove says.

Police have today confirmed information in a Cabinet paper to Police Minister Judith Collins, released under the Official Information Act, which discusses the sale of police stations and police houses as part of a government-ordered line by line review of costs, Clayton Cosgrove said.

“The papers, kept secret since February, say ‘key areas likely to be considered further … include: the property portfolio, including the rationalisation of housing and station numbers’.

“Police have admitted the review is underway. A Police spokesperson said today that work on a sell-off is in its early stages,” Clayton Cosgrove said.

“The New Zealand public has a right to be very worried about what the Government is up to. The closure of police stations will have potentially disastrous consequences for affected communities.

“What are cops in a rural town that loses its station expected to do when they arrest someone? Chain them up in their backyard? Because they’ll struggle to ship them off to cells in the nearest town as National has also chopped one tenth of their car fleet – or 340 cars – in this year’s Budget.

“Even if Police do have a spare car on hand, it means they will be out of action while they are pretending to be taxi drivers.

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“No wonder the Government tried to keep the station closures secret as long as it could. The papers, dated February 3, 2009, say: ‘the exercise will require significant effort and has the potential to be extremely disruptive if not carefully managed’.

“National and Judith Collins boast they are tough on law and order, but if they were truly concerned about the safety of our communities they would not be forcing Police to make these cuts.

“They did not foreshadow the closures before or after the last election.

“Judith Collins has got some real explaining to do,” Clayton Cosgrove said.

ENDS

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