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Cosgrove: Judith Collins Out Of Her Depth, Saying Nothing Yesterday, Blaming Someone Else Today

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Clayton Cosgrove
Clayton Cosgrove

23 January 2009 - The failure of Police and Corrections Minister Judith Collins to take any decisive action over six prisoner escapes in a week provides no reassurance for the families of victims and suggests she is already floundering in her portfolios, says Labour law and order spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove.

"Judith Collins appears out of her depth, refusing to comment yesterday on the six prisoner escapes and then making excuses and blaming someone else today for what's going wrong on her own watch," Clayton Cosgrove said

"The least she could have done would have been to have called her Police and Corrections officials in to ask what's happening, but she hasn't even done that.

"Instead, she tries to blame Labour for not reforming laws governing the security classification of prisoners. Well, under Labour prisoner escapes fell by 84 percent from the hapless old days of the previous National government, and if that doesn't speak for itself, and she's not happy with classifications, why hasn't she done something about it? She is into her third month as minister now."

Clayton Cosgrove said "it is a bit rich for Judith Collins to say 'she generally doesn't comment on operational matters such as this'.

"This is the same Minister who in her very first comments as Police Minister told the New Zealand Herald (19 November 2008) that she had no problem stepping into Police Commissioner Howard Broad's 'operational area', and the same Minister who just a week ago was upset because a burglary in Ellerslie wasn't investigated quickly enough with the result that the premises were burgled again.

"She's happy to tell police they need to wake their ideas up in terms of burglary investigations, but when it comes to prisoners escaping, and National's rhetoric about a commitment to community safety being exposed for what it is, Judith Collins is failing to front," Clayton Cosgrove said.

"In fact, the only time she talks about commitment to community safety now is when commenting on initiatives that were funded and started by the Labour government --- like new police stations and the Crime Reporting Line in Counties-Manukau. A good police minister doesn't interfere, but provides strong leadership and support. She doesn't cop out, as Judith Collins has in the past two days."

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