Senior Nationwide MP Simon Bridges clashed with Police Commissioner Andy Coster this morning, accusing him of not arresting criminals.
Coster, nonetheless, didn’t roll over and launched a agency defence of police when pushing again on Bridges’ assertions.
The fiery change follows Bridges’ calling Coster a “wokester” – primarily implying he was extra targeted on being politically appropriate than catching criminals.
Bridges’ chief, Judith Collins, had tried to rein him in yesterday by telling him to focus his criticism on Police Minister Poto Williams, not the Police Commissioner.
However that did not cease Bridges – the previous Nationwide Occasion chief – from placing the boot into Coster once more this morning.
“Do police nonetheless arrest criminals in New Zealand?” Bridges requested bluntly in the course of the choose committee assembly.
This query launched a blistering back-and-fourth between the pair which the committee chair was pressured to intervene in quite a few instances.
Bridges did not name him a “wokester” per se, however he did say: “You realize what I’ve stated within the media”.
Coster defended the police’s report, however conceded that gang numbers have been rising in New Zealand.
“We’re involved by the rise in gang violence, [in New Zealand],” he stated.
Nevertheless, he pushed again on any assertion that police have been failing to arrest criminals.
He famous police have been placing stress on gangs and he was stacking up a unit to fight their development.
Bridges, nonetheless, was having none of it: “It is such as you’re talking a distinct language,” he stated, earlier than including that Coster was “enjoying with statistics”.
Coster pushed again strongly once more, saying the police’s job was additionally about stopping crime.
He cited the Black Lives Matter clashes within the US and the position that the police performed in these cases and in contrast that to how police performed in these cases and in contrast that to how police have dealt with the problem right here with out violence.