Smacking seen as bigger threat than P

By Ian Wishart TGIF Edition 12 Sep 08
Grief over yesterday’s shooting of a police intelligence officer is turning to fury at the Government and police bosses, amid claims that police have been soft on P in the past. National MP Judith Collins has told TGIF Edition the police appear to have had the wrong priorities, and now an officer has paid for that with his life. “This government has turned a blind eye to the use of P until recently,” said Collins today. “Everytime I, as a South Auckland MP,  have approached the Police hierarchy about P, I’ve been fed the line that alcohol causes more damage. In the meantime, gangs of thugs have become part of international organised crime. “If we look at this government’s funding of advertisements, New Zealanders would think that smacking was more serious than P and the violence and destruction that goes with it.  The Clark government is living in the past, obsessed with the politics of the 70s and incapable of cracking down on the gangs.”

…Echoing National MP Judith Collins’ concerns, Family First lobbyist Bob McCoskrie says the Government has concentrated too much on social engineering, and not enough on tackling methamphetamine.
“We’ve been told by police that substance abuse is involved in more than half of all cases of child abuse, and about 80% of crime. It’s a disgrace that kids are living in P houses. Where’s the outcry from the Greens? Where’s the outcry from Every Child Counts?” asks McCoskrie. He told TGIF Edition the Greens have blood on their hands for consistently opposing crackdowns on the drug industry and other crimes. “In 2003, the Greens opposed the reclassification of P as a Class A drug. They also opposed raising the drinking age, and you’ll find they also opposed increasing the penalty for possession of child pornography to five years’ jail. They’re a party willing to turn a blind eye to marijuana, P and child porn. In my view, the Government’s relationship with the Greens has been a stumbling block in fighting crime.”

McCoskrie says the overall result is a country where smacking is seen as a more serious social issue by Labour and the Greens than methamphetamine abuse, “and where the police are tip-toeing around the rights of prisoners and criminals, while the rights of families to protection from the harmful effects of drugs and crime come second.” Green Party drugs spokeswoman Metiria Turei told TGIF Edition she had “no regrets” over the Greens’ stance on P, claiming the fight against the drug should not criminalise users but instead focus on the dealers and manufacturers.