Little gets one right, shame he will be gazumped

Andrew Little got one right yesterday.

For a party that is pro-union, pro-corrections and pro-criminal the announcement that they would fund 1000 extra Police was somewhat surprising.

Labour has pledged to put 1000 extra police officers on the beat in its first term to reverse a “surge” in crime, in new policy unveiled by leader Andrew Little today.

The Police Association says the ball is now in the Government’s court.

“It is a hell of a good start…we will certainly be interested to see how [the Government] respond,” new Police Association president Chris Cahill said.

In a speech to the association’s annual conference, Little said the policy would increase the total number of police officers to 10,000. ?

“The thin blue line is reaching breaking point. Our police are valiant and hardworking but they are over-stretched and under-resourced,” Little told the conference in Wellington.

“There is a cost to not being able to protect innocent citizens and uphold our laws. We can’t afford 5000 unsolved sexual assaults a year. We can’t afford 600 thefts, burglaries and robberies every day.”

Labour said its policy once fully implemented would cost $180 million extra a year. That would include money for about 300 extra support staff, training and equipment and any necessary new stations or renovations.

Investigations into assaults including those of a sexual nature, burglaries and robberies would be prioritised using the new officer numbers.

Little said the ratio of police officers to population had worsened from 1 officer to every 488 New Zealanders in 2008, to 1 to 528 today.

It’s a good policy but already Winston Peters is talking much higher numbers and there is a good chance that Judith Collins will gazump these numbers too.

Collins will be able to say the previous Police Ministers let things slide and she will return strength to the force.

So, Little had a good day, but it will last only as long as it takes either Judith Collins or Winston Peters to gazump him.

The only remaining question about the policy announcement is where was Stuart Nash? He’s Labour’s Police spokesman?and was nowhere to be seen.


– NZ Herald