Can "police said" replace "police have said"?

Hong Kong crime levels jumped 8.7 per cent in 2022 compared with the year before, driven by a surge in scams involving online shopping, employment and investment, as well as phone fraud, police have said.

Can “police said” replace “police have said”?


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This is possible, but neither likely nor necessary:

The crime rate in Hong Kong in 2022 increased by 8.7 percent year-on-year due to an increase in online shopping, employment and investment scams, as well as telephone fraud, police said.