Jacinda Ardern and Stuart Nash have broken the trust of Kiwis who believed them when they said they’d keep their promise to add 1800 frontline cops over three years, National’s Police Spokesperson Chris Bishop says.

“Even when it was becoming obvious to everyone that the Government wasn’t going to keep this promise, Ms Ardern dug her heels in and on the eve of the Budget told Parliament that it was still her Government’s policy to add 1800 sworn police over the next three years.

“And despite Ms Ardern and Mr Nash continuing to claim the extra cops will be delivered in three years, Budget documents clearly confirm the Government will be taking five years to bring them on.

“No matter how much the Government tries to weasel of admitting that it has broken its promise by claiming it is ‘striving towards’ delivering 1800 extra cops in three years, it’s clear it made an unrealistic pledge to New Zealanders that it will not able to deliver upon.

“Not only that, but the Government will be claiming the 880 sworn frontline cops funded under the National Government, of which over 400 recruits have already graduated. That means the Government is only adding 920 more cops, with just 220 of those being frontline.

“But exactly what ‘frontline’ means these days is unclear. Mr Nash has tried to redefine the term in recent weeks to include backoffice staff, who are no doubt important, but they won’t be turning up to dairies after an aggravated robbery or attending family violence incidents.

“The most important thing is that these extra cops improve public safety. But with no Government plan to reduce crime and moving towards softening bail laws, it seems that all these extra cops will be required to do is catch and release.

“There’s no point letting more cops in through the front door if you’re just going to let more criminals out through the back door.”

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