Police and Speed Cameras

[Imported from Whale Oil Beef Hooked on Blogger]

The TVNZ video archive page currently has a lead story where Police are hitting back at claims that speed cameras have become revenue grabbers. It quotes statistics where speeding drivers have reduced by 15% and road deaths by 4%.

While it is admirable that road deaths have fallen by 4% over the last year, I still have to question the amount of resources being poured in speed camera operations, compared to other areas of policing. It is completely understandable why Vai Toia, whose son died in a high profile crash, supports speed camera operations, but are the police really spending an appropriate amount of time in this area?

It it fair to say that there is a general feeling around the country that we have a shortage of police, and if I were to take my local patch of Counties-Manukau, we are apparently 160 officers short of the national average.

To add salt to that wound, back in April there was a lot of publicity surrounding over 1000 unallocated police files in this policing district, further emphasising the need for more police in NZ. According to the Counties-Manukau District Commander, that number has since dropped, but only to around 700.

Figures from the police minister earlier this year show that speeding tickets have tripled since Labour took office. The obvious reaction to that is that police are simply revenue gathering with such a high increase and that is exactly the public’s perception.

Now that Labour believe they have secured themselves a third term (dependent on special votes of course), it is time that they seriously considered the way in whichthey allocate police resources. As nice as the PR job on speed cameras might be, not enough time and effort is being spent on the real policing responsibilities.

With the need for a fresh look government, and close ally John Tamihere gone, Hawkins will deservingly be shafted from cabinet this term. Whoever the new police minister is, they seriously need to overhaul this portfolio and build a better police force for the greater public good.

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