English making up for crime problem of their own doing

OPINION: Bill English's State of the Nation is all about covering the gaping political wound of rising crime.

It's clear that Bill English had to do something about police numbers - and today he did, promising another 880 sworn officers amid an extra 1125 staff.

The reality is that National has overseen the rise in crime and the extra police only match promises already made by Labour and New Zealand First.

Bill English was Finance Minister while the police were starved of new numbers - the blame is his.

But like any crime, it is the cover-up that counts and National will just get in with pushing the policy and owning it.

That's one of Paula Bennett's main jobs - get out there and market this, and hold the line on the law and order debate.

National will use her to try and "own" the debate.

The 111-number-that's-not-for-111-calls is another sop to all those voters out there worried about crime.

Bill English knows that law and order can sink a government. Today he patched the hole to keep his Government going.