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Labour scorns government's police package

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 2/02/2017

Labour leader Andrew Little says his party promised an extra 1000 sworn police officers last October and the government is playing catch-up.

He's reacting to Prime Minister Bill English's announcement on Thursday of a $503 million Safer Communities package that will deliver an extra 1125 police, including 880 sworn officers.

"Bill English is following rather than leading, after we backed him into a corner," Mr Little told reporters.

"For eight years National has failed to invest in our police and support front line police officers."

Mr Little said Mr English previously refused former police minister Judith Collins' appeal for more police.

"Now, lo and behold, 233 days to the election, comes this promise."

Mr Little said there was nothing "meaningful or practical" in the speech about the housing crisis.

"This speech was woefully short on vision for this country," Mr Little said.

NZ First leader Winston Peters, whose party has promised an extra 1800 police, says when Mr English was finance minister he froze police budgets.

"But, miraculously, in his first major speech as prime minister, and in election year, Mr English turns around and opens his purse for more front line police."

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