Crusher Collins cover-up | The Jackal

14 Jul 2014

Crusher Collins cover-up

Although some news agencies such as TVNZ are doing their best to ignore it, the story about Police under reporting crime statistics has been given a new lease of life with the acidic Judith Collins going on the defensive.

Today, the NZ Herald reported:

Leak about police error political says Collins

Papakura MP was told of an old statistics reporting problem but didn’t investigate.

Former Police Minister and Papakura MP Judith Collins was told there might be a problem with how police handled statistics around the same time as police were wrongly recording incidents to make hundreds of burglaries disappear - but she didn't investigate further.

Ms Collins, who is acting Police Minister while Anne Tolley is overseas, launched an attack on Labour police spokeswoman Jacinda Ardern, calling the leaking of a report into police mistakes "politically motivated".

Actually it was a Herald on Sunday investigation into a 'damning' Independent Police Conduct Authority report that broke the story. The news agency doesn't say exactly who the report was acquired from, but it was likely from the IPCA through an Official Information Act (PDF) request. The only other way they could have attained the report is from those directly involved, the police. If that's the case then there's nothing political about a newspaper reporting on a serious case of falsified crime statistics.

Furthermore, such a report shouldn't be kept under wraps just because it makes the Police and by association the government look bad. After all, the accurate reporting of crime statistics is a topic that has a lot of public interest. When police undertake to fabricate crime statistics for no other apparent reason than to make the government of the day look good the public has a right to know.

Despite the deluded Judith Collins not having a leg to stand on, she goes into attack mode:

"I was really disgusted by Jacinda Ardern's comments in the media. "The fact that it's been sitting around for two years, and the Opposition's only just got on to it and been rarking it up right before an election tells me that it's politically motivated."

The period was when Ms Collins was police minister, and included Ms Collins' electorate of Papakura.

Unlike the timing of the story breaking, the covering up of this (likely not so isolated) incident for two years is what is really politically motivated. Obviously the government has tried and failed to keep a lid on it and if they’d just been transparent about the fudged figures in the first place the story wouldn’t have broken during an election campaign. In fact Judith Collins has nobody to blame but herself.

So when exactly did the then Minister of Police know about their misconduct?

She said she had been told "something about the stats" possibly just after she had finished up as police minister at the end of 2011.

"I'd just heard at some stage, and I don't know when, and I can't tell you in what capacity. But I knew that something was wrong with something to do with the statistics."

She did not pass it on to the police minister because she "didn't have details". She did not seek further details "because it was very historical".

Clearly Collins knew about the under reporting as soon as the IPCA's report was concluded. In fact she was probably kept informed while the investigation was being conducted. That didn't stop her declaring the government's crime fighting a huge success, all the while knowingly using incorrect statistics to support her case.

This is another good reason, along with her using taxpayers money to promote her husbands business interests in China, for the corrupt and incompetent Judith Collins to resign.