News of alleged misconduct among new police recruits has shown Police Minister Stuart Nash’s guarantee that standards of our police force wouldn’t be lowered was worthless, National’s Police spokesperson Chris Bishop says.
“Today’s revelations that 10 per cent of a recently graduated Police Wing were accused of misconduct, including allegations as serious as indecent assault, intimidation and careless driving show that standards have slipped.
“Mr Nash was warned that 1800 additional police within three years was a highly ambitious target. His desperate drive to put more police on the beat quickly has meant police have lowered the standards to push more recruits through, whether they’re suitable candidates or not. Wing 318 had 100 recruits, the largest intake since 2006 – showing quantity was the aim.
“National has repeatedly questioned the Minister about the 1800 target. Stuart Nash told the Parliament he could guarantee standards would not drop under his watch and nor would entry standards.
“He was clearly wrong and the debacle of Wing 318 is his responsibility and he must take the blame for what appears to be declining behaviour and ethical standards among new recruits.
“I’ve had direct feedback from front line officers about declining standards. These officers have to serve with the people coming through. They are worried that the force’s overall service to the public will decline.
“The public have a right to expect that their Police will behave to the highest standards. While his credibility has been damaged Stuart Nash must now find a way to assure New Zealanders that this rush to 1800 extra police won’t risk public safety.”