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Urgent audit demanded on misuse of Police Wellness Funds

The Hatikvah Blue Hope Foundation calls for an immediate and verified audit of the allocation and use of public funds intended for police wellness through ACC third-party providers.

This call comes in the face of mounting evidence of resource misallocation from frontline police in critical need of mental health support, indicating systemic oversight.

Highlighting the gravity of the situation, Blue Hope has brought to the attention of Police Minister Mark Mitchell and ACC Minister Matt Doocey the alarming case of one police worker.

Advised to undertake exercise as a crucial part of their mental health treatment, this individual was denied support by third-party providers over cost issues.

This decision had dire consequences, leading to two suicide attempts that not only exacerbated the individual’s suffering but also imposed significant and avoidable costs on the taxpayer.

Such instances are a stark illustration of the failing system’s disregard for the well-being of our police workers and the ineffective management of allocated public funds.

“We alerted ministers of the three suicides of serving police workers that occurred in the space of a month last year. There is something wrong,” Blue Hope managing director Allister Rose said.

The Foundation questions the effectiveness of the oversight and transparency mechanisms governing the funds managed by ACC third-party providers, which are earmarked for the wellness of police workers.

“The lack of accountability and apparent misdirection of these funds is of great concern, particularly given the pressing need for accessible and adequate mental health support within the police service”, Rose said.

“We urge the initiation of a comprehensive, transparent audit into the financial management and operational practices of ACC third-party providers regarding police wellness funds”.

“This audit must scrutinise the allocation, use, and impact of these funds to ensure they are directed efficiently to support the health and safety of police workers.

“We must ensure public funds are utilised effectively, reaching those in urgent need and upholding the welfare of our police workers and, by extension, our communities.”

The Foundation calls upon all relevant stakeholders, including government agencies and the ministries of police and ACC, to take decisive steps towards rectifying this critical issue.

Our collective responsibility is to foster a transparent, accountable, and effective allocation of public funds, reflecting a genuine commitment to the health and safety of those dedicated to our protection.

 

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