Labour continues to mislead on Police numbers

  • Jack Elder

Labour politicians are continuing to insult the intelligence of the electorate, Police Minister Jack Elder said today.

"Last week Wanganui MP Jill Pettis said this Coalition Government had done nothing to increase the number of Police officers - something she would have known was blatantly wrong if she had been doing her job.

"The Coalition Agreement targets 500 extra sworn front-line staff over the term of office, and with this year's all-time-high budget, we are well on track to meeting that. Mr Elder said to meet the first year's target of 200 extra police, the Police College will be training a record 700 recruits.

The target is to have 6692 front-line police staff at the by the time of the next Budget. There were 6384 sworn staff, excluding recruits, at the time of the election. The equivalent figure was 6492 on Budget day, and stood at 6628 at the end of January.

"This means there has already been an increase of 244 sworn front-line police since the election." Mr Elder noted that one of the actions of the last Labour government was to cut the Police establishment, including recruits, to below 5000 at a time of record crime growth.

The equivalent figure at the end of January was 6910. "People are living in a dream world if they think Labour will do anything practical about law and order: the sort of people who now run the Labour Party have never supported the Police.

"It appears the only aim of their obvious misinformation campaign is to alarm the public and undermine police morale."