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Budget puts the squeeze on police

The Government has cut funding to the New Zealand police force in the latest Budget, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis.

“The reduction is a whopping $15.3 million that could put front line officers at risk.

“Police budgets have been frozen for five years and last year the force only survived by a top up.

“The Budget has $164 million worth of new initiatives but there is no extra funding to pay for this. The Minister has a deck of cards which he keeps reshuffling and dealing to the police.

“Crimes like burglary and car theft have low resolution rates yet the Budget puts the funding emphasis on revenue collecting offences like speeding, warrants of fitness and drivers using mobile phone.

“The money in the Budget will still not make up police wages so we are going to see fewer police in the regions. These reckless cuts will see fewer community and rural constables.

“Capital  expenditure is down by $8.4 million and this will mean a deterioration in police assets

“Police officers are already predicting that without new investment they will be at risk of a serious failure in providing a service to the public.

“Clearly the message is that the security of New Zealanders is not a priority for this Government,“ says Kelvin Davis.