“The Police have shown how out of touch they are with the public with their undercover stunt to try to catch people on mobile phones,” says ACT’s Police spokesperson Chris Baillie.

“All over Auckland, shops are being ram raided. Shop owners are terrified they’ll be the next victim. People are questioning whether it’s safe enough to go the shopping mall. Gun crime is out of control.

“Despite all of this, Police in Auckland were busted by Today FM using a plain clothed officer pretending to be a car window washer to catch people on mobile phones. There were at least four officers involved.

“As a former Police officer myself, I don’t blame frontline staff who are following orders. The problem here is leadership.

“Police Minister Chris Hipkins needs to remind Commissioner Andrew Coster that his officers should be focussed on the serious and violent crimes that are constantly in our news headlines. While Hipkins can’t get involved in individual operations - he can make his expectations crystal clear.

“The people of Auckland and victims of ram raids have the right to feel offended that Police think these sorts of hijinks are a good use of their time.”

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Chris Baillie