The National government is taking police cars off the streets of the Hutt Valley despite a rise in reported crime rates, Rimutaka MP Chris Hipkins says.
“There are already eight fewer police cars on the road in the Hutt Valley as a result of the National government’s Budget cuts and that might not be the worst of it,” Mr Hipkins said.
Mr Hipkins asked written parliamentary questions to the Police Minister Judith Collins which revealed that in 2008 there were 18 vehicles in Upper Hutt and 59 in Lower Hutt but in 2009 there were only 17 police vehicles in Upper Hutt and 52 in Lower Hutt.
“Taking police cars off our roads can only make the streets of the Hutt Valley less safe for our families and children. It’s an appalling move and makes a mockery of National’s promise to focus police resources on the frontline.
“I’m afraid to say we can probably expect to see even less police cars on the streets of the Hutt Valley in coming years. The government removed 157 police cars from streets nationwide between 2008 and 2009 and aims to remove 340 from our streets by June.
This move comes despite a 4 percent increase in reported rates of crime by Lower Hutt and Upper Hutt police.
“This shows the government cannot afford to take any more police cars off the streets.
“My labour colleagues and I will continue to challenge the government on this. We are absolutely opposed to any action that makes our streets less safe and believe the government should be doing everything it can to keep our streets patrolled.
“Cutting police resources so that they can give tax cuts to the highest paid is a massive breach of the trust given to them by the public. It’s yet another example of the National Party making hollow promises before the election that they had no intention of keeping,” Mr Hipkins says.