“The Government’s promise of more cops on the beat has been made to cover for the fact it’s failing to meet its last promise”, says ACT’s Police spokesperson and former police officer Chris Baillie.
“In 2017, Labour promised 1,800 new police officers. It still hasn’t achieved that goal. With exploding crime, it’s scrambling to make new promises so people forget about the old ones.
“Government Ministers can’t even agree on how many new cops have been recruited.
“The Police Minister says, ‘we have put 1,400 extra cops on the beat’. The Prime Minister declared 1,800 new police officers had been ‘promised and delivered’. That claim was subsequently shot down by Poto Williams. The Police Association says just 1,273 have been recruited.
“While Ministers squabble about the numbers, crime on our streets has exploded, and gangs are recruiting faster than Police.
“There are reports of gang crime and shootings most days and people do not feel safe in our communities.
“The Government needs to sort out its priorities and start focusing on the safety of the public and police officers.
“As a former police officer, I look at the increasing dangers that Police are facing and worry for them. Gangs are recruiting much faster than the Police.
“ACT would introduce Gang Control Orders to crack down on gang members. This would allow the Police to apply to the courts for an injunction against an individual on the National Gang List, which could be used to prohibit bad behaviours including being in a particular location or associating with particular people. It could also be used to require positive actions, like attending rehabilitation.
“We would also implement a standard annual increase in the Police staffing budget in line with population growth. This would provide a steady increase in funding for police recruitment over time to meet population needs and ensure that Police numbers increase as they are needed, instead of leaving it to hollow political promises.
“Police need to feel like the Government supports them. Right now, it doesn’t.”