The Government has overseen a rapid increase in the number of people joining gangs since it took office, but it’s no closer to achieving its promise of 1800 extra police on the beat, Leader of the Opposition Simon Bridges says.
“Just released figures show it’s taken the Government more than two years to add only 747 new police officers. Police Minister Stuart Nash has no chance of reaching his target of 1800 Police by July 2020 and keeping his commitment to New Zealanders.
“We’ve seen this week there are more gang members peddling misery and violence in our communities since this Government took office.
“Now more than ever the Government should be focused on ensuring there are enough police officers to stop criminals offending. Patched and prospect gang members are up 26 per cent since the election, there is more recorded crime and New Zealanders are feeling less safe.
“But this Government has no plan to keep New Zealanders safe.
“It wants to clear out prisons, but has no plan to reduce crime. It refused to pick up National’s Firearms Prohibition Orders which would have given Police more powers to search gang members for illegal firearms. It’s also dropped National’s target of 95 per cent of New Zealanders living within 25 kilometres of an on duty police officer.
“And now it’s set to fail to deliver 1800 more police in our communities.
“Stuart Nash claiming his Government is ‘winning’ when it comes to reducing crime and cracking down on gangs, but that’s a slap in the face to the New Zealanders who can see more gang members and crime occurring, and not enough Police on the streets to stop criminals offending.
“National is the party of law and order and our priority is keeping New Zealanders safe. All this Government is delivering is more gang members, more crime, and not enough Police officers.”
A graphic from Police showing their progress on the promised 1800 increase to constabulary staff can be found HERE.