This soft-on-crime Government has only filled one-third of additional police positions focused on organised crime despite gang membership increasing at an alarming rate, National’s Police spokesperson Simeon Brown says.
“Of the 700 promised positions focused on targeting organised crime, only 239 have been filled. The Government has left a significant gap in resources for our Police. If they don’t have the tools, they can’t do their job properly.
“Gangs are recruiting at a faster rate than police, and causing an increasing amount of havoc within our communities, there has been a 13 per cent increase in just the past year, and we’ve seen an increasing amount of gang and gun violence on our streets.
“There were more than 270,000 victims of crime in the year ending October 2020. I don’t think New Zealanders would agree there is less need for police officers.
“So it makes no sense that the Government has closed down police college for half of this year, given it takes time to recruit and train officers.
“Labour promised to grow the Police’s ranks by 1800 over three years, but it never got there, instead trying to fool the public by claiming its promise never included attrition.
“The Government needs to front up and explain how it’s going to target organised crime, drugs, and the harm they cause if it’s not going to give the Police the resources to do so.
“It’s clear the Government isn’t fully committed to stamping out crime and keeping New Zealand communities safe.
“National is committed to keeping Kiwis safe and giving Police the resources they need. We will grow police numbers and increase the allocation of officers to rural areas, including expanding one-person police stations to two-person police stations.”
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