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More cops needed to get P off our streets

National’s cuts to Police funding and drug enforcement officers has seen a surge in cheap P on our streets, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash.

The latest New Zealand Arrestee Drug Use Monitoring Report, released by Police today, shows that P is cheaper than ever and more people are using it. The report describes a “surge in methamphetamine use” and 70% of users say they can buy it within an hour. The proportion of detainees who had used P in the previous year increased from 28% in 2012 to 36% in 2015.

“We need more police to fight the scourge of P and protect our communities from crime.

“John Key’s police cuts are letting P dealers get away with selling this dangerous drug. Key promised a “War on P” but then turned around and cut Police funding.

“Over the past four years, there has been a 7% decrease in dedicated drugs officers. P is now cheaper than ever, and more and more criminals are using it.

“The proportion of detainees in Canterbury who use P has risen from 1 in 5 in 2011 to 1 in 3 in 2015. Yet, Canterbury has lost 30% of its drug enforcement officers.

“Police officers tell me that P abuse is leading to a surge in other crimes like burglaries, robberies, and assaults. Kiwis are less safe because of National’s police cuts, which have allowed a P-fuelled crime wave.

“This report shows that National has its priorities all wrong. Rather than an election year tax bribe, they should be investing in making our communities safe.

“Labour will recruit 1,000 more Police to make our communities safer. We will work with police to target the suppliers of this evil drug, and crack down on the surge in crimes affecting innocent New Zealanders,” says Mr Nash.