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Heading Towards A Policing Crisis

5 December 2000

Graham Capill
Party Leader


Party Leader, Graham Capill, has warned the Government that unless it puts more resources into policing, New Zealand is heading for a crisis. Mr Capill said that, “It is abdicating its responsibilities in this important area of government.

“The announcement from the Police Commissioner that, owing to financial constraints, January and February intakes of police recruits to Police College have to be deferred, is a cause of huge concern.

“The average person is becoming more and more insecure and the Labour/Alliance Coalition Government appears to be paying scant attention. Adequate financial resources to provide for an appropriate level of protection for all citizens is a primary responsibility of those who govern. Frills and fanciful schemes can be delayed indefinitely, if necessary.

“There is already a chronic shortage of police; those on the front line are over-worked and under-resourced and more and more of our citizens are having to look for other forms of protection.

“That the Prime Minister should be so dismissive of this worrying situation is astonishing. When asked what was to happen to those recruits who had already left previous employment to get ready for a January or February entrance to College, her callous response was that they would just have to go on the dole.

“Such remarks, coupled with the very recent pronouncements of George Hawkins, Minister of Police, cause despair. The Minister’s suggestion that recruits could pay for their training was ill-conceived and demonstrated a lack of appreciation of aspects of his portfolio.

“Many police recruits already have tertiary qualifications and large student loans. Often, because of the justifiable emphasis on maturity, they are married with children and mortgages. The best candidates therefore would in many cases be precluded from even contemplating a career change.

“It might also be salutary to remind the Minister that some police not only purchase their own cell phones but also pay for the usage,” Mr Capill concluded.

END

Contact: Party Leader Graham Capill, Direct Line: (03) 352 6720 or Mobile: (021) 661 766

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