The latest statistics from police show that Auckland is becoming more dangerous with a 63 per cent increase in violent crime in Auckland’s CBD for the first five months of this year, compared with the same period in 2019.
These figures are mirrored with nationwide statistics showing the number of serious assaults has more than doubled across New Zealand since 2017 when this Government took power, from approximately 10,500 in 2017 to more than 22,000 last year.
In the same period of time, gang numbers have increased more than 50 per cent from 5343 in October 2017 to 8061 in June 2021. This is simply unacceptable, yet unsurprising given how sympathetic this Government is to criminals.
Labour’s approach to crime has made our streets less safe, and many New Zealanders no longer feel safe within their wider communities, let alone their own homes.
During the 2017 election campaign, Labour promised 1800 more frontline police officers over its first term in office, something they failed to deliver on, falling over 600 short of this target. But more worryingly, police numbers have actually been falling since March this year as attrition picks up following last year’s lockdowns.
The Government is also failing to address these challenges by refusing to bring back Armed Response Teams, an important option for police facing increasingly dangerous situations – often with firearms.
In response to such a proposal, the Police Minister claimed that the “communities she represents” do not want them. The Minister and Government are failing to listen to everyday New Zealanders and our frontline police who are in harm’s way every day.
It’s no wonder crime is on the rise, with gangs receiving Government handouts, prisoners being rewarded for rioting and let out early and the police budget cut by more than $90 million this year.
Enough is enough. New Zealanders deserve better from their Government, whose top priority should always be the safety of its citizens, no matter where they live.
National will take a much harder line to restore law and order in our country. We will complete the 1800 new police programme with urgency, introduce Firearm Prohibition Orders to get guns out of the hands of gangs and protect Kiwis instead of criminals.
MP for Pakuranga