Elder says Dominion wrong

  • Jack Elder

Police Minister Jack Elder had not summoned the Police Commissioner to explain the Police drink-driving crack down last Friday, as reported in the Dominion this morning.

Mr Elder said he discussed the operation with the Commissioner as part of their regular Monday meeting, and he had at no time told the Dominion he would "summon" the Commissioner to "explain".

"Under our constitution, policing is left to the police, not politicians, to run."

The Commissioner of Police is responsible for law enforcement tactics, and neither the Minister, nor any other politician, can tell him how to go about it.

Mr Elder repeated that a major thrust of the 1992 merger of Police and Traffic Officers was to allow all Police to be involved in road safety operations.

"All Police officers now have responsibility for both crime and traffic, and the dramatic fall in road fatalities since the merger is a glowing testimony to the success of the merger."

Since 1992, annual road deaths have fallen from 646 to 515 last year.