Thursday, April 25, 2024

More cops getting bashed on the job

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National Party justice spokesperson Paul Goldsmith says the sharp rise in assaults on police is a “damning indictment” on the state of law and order under the Labour Government. Times file photo Wayne Martin

The number of police officers being assaulted in the line of duty has almost doubled.

National Party justice spokesperson Paul Goldsmith says the sharp rise in assaults on police is a “damning indictment” on the state of law and order under the Labour Government.

“Last year, our frontline police were the victims of more than 1,100 assaults, more than three every day and up from 631 in 2021.

“Sadly, this confirms everything we are hearing from frontline officers.

“They feel less safe on the job than they did five years ago.

“This is another measure of the break down in law and order.

“Frontline police are working incredibly hard to keep our communities safe.

“Offenders know there will not be consequences for their actions because Labour is soft on crime.

“This has led to a collapse in respect for frontline officers.”

Goldsmith says Judge Colin Doherty of the Independent Police Conduct Authority told Parliament’s justice select committee the biggest concern he hears from frontline officers is just getting home at the end of their shift, and he’s hearing it far more regularly now than five years ago.

“Something is seriously wrong when police officers and New Zealanders both feel unsafe in their communities,” Goldsmith says.

“We now have retailers installing fog cannons and bus companies installing cages to protect their drivers.

“National will ensure offenders face tougher consequences.

“Under a National Government, anyone who assaults a first responder or prison officer will receive a minimum sentence of six months’ imprisonment.”

Goldsmith says if National is elected to Government at this year’s general election on October 14 it will ban patches and give police non-association powers to prevent gang members from communicating and planning criminal activity.

It will also allow police to issue dispersal notices where gang members come together in public to intimidate, threaten, and sometimes assault members of the public, and give police the warrantless search powers they need to take the guns out of the hands of violent armed gang members.

“National will restore law and order so New Zealanders feel safer.”

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