RSA ‘Sting’ Does Police Reputation More Harm Than Good
New Zealand First says puritanical police bosses are putting the reputation of our police officers in jeopardy, with a liquor licensing sting against the Titahi Bay RSA speaking volumes.
“The puritans in police Headquarters ought to be cracking down on illegal gang bars and not RSA’s,” says New Zealand First Deputy Leader and Spokesperson for Police, Ron Mark.
“Former RSA Titahi Bay President John Ward QSM, himself a former police officer, is right to call this a waste of police resources. As a former Mayor I can tell you that the problem isn’t with licensed premises but unlicensed backyard boozers like gang houses.
“This government is allowing the puritans in police headquarters to crusade against alcohol and the easiest targets are licensed premises. Yet places like RSA’s and country pubs are the best place to consume alcohol in because they provide a safe controlled environment.
“If only police brass instead focussed on the 1178 burglaries in Porirua between 2008 and 2016 which saw only 79 arrests. Or the 609 reports of wilful damage for 108 arrests but what do we see - over performance for liquor offenses - six reported offenses but 16 arrests.
“Then again National is not funding police to be out there when crime happens. On the police rosters for the month covering the Christmas and New Year period, Porirua policing peaked at 37 officers on duty but that was also at 3pm on 14 December 2016.
“Sadly when it is late at night or in the small hours, police in Porirua can fall to one-seventh of that mid-afternoon peak and at times it was a lonesome officer on duty.
“Our front line police are magnificent but they must shake their heads at what seems to be a priority in police headquarters and especially this so-called National government,” says Mr Mark.