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The Government’s pledge to put fewer people in prison is already starting to bite, as it drops previous targets aimed at solving more crime and keeping New Zealanders safe, National’s Police spokesperson Chris Bishop says.

“Police Minister Stuart Nash has confirmed to Parliament’s Justice committee that the Government has formally dropped two important police targets established under National.

“First, that 98 per cent of burglaries would be attended by Police within 48 hours, and second, that 95 per cent of New Zealanders would live within 25km of a 24/7 police station.

“Both of these were ensuring that Police responded to crimes faster, that New Zealanders were safer and more offenders were held to account.

“They had the backing of Police and New Zealanders and it beggars belief that the Government is putting more resources into Police but has formally dropped these targets.

“You can’t improve what you don’t measure and you can’t be properly held to account when you don’t collect the right information and it’s starting to look like this Government is doing that on purpose.

“With a pledge to cut the prison numbers by a third and no plan on how to do it, the Government looks like it is preparing to fudge the numbers, catch fewer criminals and solve less crime and that’s a real concern.

“Mr Nash spent most of his time in Opposition criticising burglary resolution rates and the closure of police kiosks and stations, yet one of his first actions as Minister is to make a hypocrite of himself.

“The dropping of these targets comes on the back of a horror week in law and order for the Government and New Zealanders will rightly be concerned about this Government’s incompetent handling of their safety.”

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