Labour Opposition Habitually Negative

  • Tony Ryall
Justice

"The Labour Opposition seems incapable of being positive about anything, even falling crime rates," Justice Minister, Tony Ryall, said today.

Mr Ryall was referring to negative comments made Labour's Phil Goff and George Hawkins, following the announcement that New Zealand's crime rate had fallen for the second year in a row, and is now 11 percent lower than it was in 1992.

"The Police and thousands of people in the community have worked damned hard to achieve this positive result," said Mr Ryall.

"They deserve our thanks for their efforts. They do not deserve to be told by Labour's Phil Goff that ‘we need police to regard burglaries as a priority rather than a minor offence'.

"If Labour bothered to talk to the Police before criticising them they would know that the Police take burglary very seriously indeed. The burglary rate has dropped by 24 percent from its peak in 1993 thanks largely to their efforts.

"The clearance rate of 11 percent is basically unchanged over the past 20 years and it is around midpoint on an international scale.

"The unfortunate fact is most New Zealanders do not either record the serial numbers of their property or have some other way to positively identify it. Without this information it is nearly impossible for the Police to ‘resolve' a burglary even if they catch a career burglar and recover property they believe to be stolen.

"It is up to all of us to help the Police to solve crime and to keep up the good work already being done.

"Labour's incessant whingeing does nothing to help anyone. All New Zealanders should congratulate the Police on the positive result. We should all resolve to do more to build a safer community in partnership with the Police," said Mr Ryall.