“It’s a simple question: how many police officers has the Government delivered?” Asks ACT’s Police spokesperson Chris Baillie.

“Earlier this month, the Police Minister said ‘we have put 1,400 extra cops on the beat’.

“Last month, the Prime Minister declared 1,800 new police officers had been ‘promised and delivered’. That claim was shot down by Poto Williams today in Question Time.

“But the Police Association says just 1,273 have been recruited.

“Poto Williams needs to front up to New Zealanders and tell us what the real figure is.

“While Ministers squabble about the numbers, crime on our streets has exploded. 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.”

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