Budget 2017: Continued commitment to law and order welcomed

NZPA | Thu May 25th, 2017

The Government has today confirmed its commitment to increase the number of police by 880 and the number of non-sworn Police employees by 245, over the next four years.

The Association welcomed the announcement when it was initially made in the February 2 Safer Communities package.

“A $388m increase in Vote Police is a much needed initiative to relieve serious strains on front line policing,” Police Association President Chris Cahill said.

“Ideally we would have liked the officers and support staff on the job immediately, but it is imperative to recruit the right people and train them to the highest standards.  That takes time and considerable effort,” Mr Cahill said.

The roll out of the Government package means every year for the next four years, 220 extra recruits, over and above the 400-500 trained every year, will be needed to meet the target of 880. The first of these intakes enters Police College this July.

Mr Cahill said since the initial announcement Police has provided more details on exactly where the extra police will be stationed.

“High pressure districts such as Northland, Waikato and Eastern have the largest percentage increases at 19%, 16.4% and 16.1% respectively, and indicative planning allocations show the largest numbers will go to these areas in the 2017/2018 financial year,” Mr Cahill said.

“It is also good to note that the 880 officers will all be out in the community, and not adding to Police bureaucracy.”

“Our members are telling us every day of the growth in key crime areas, and the dangerous cycle being fuelled by the methamphetamine “industry” which is always closely linked to gangs,” Mr Cahill said.

“And where there is meth, there are invariably firearms which pose not only a danger to the general public, but to police who are encountering such weapons on a regular basis,” he added.

The Association is mindful of the job ahead in keeping the Government aware of the dangers of a growth in the gap between the New Zealand population and the number of police officers on the frontline.

“By the time this year’s Budget package is fully rolled out, our population will have increased significantly.  Unless there is a serious drop in crime, we will again find ourselves caught in this cycle of stressed police and political catch-up remedies.  That is neither good for New Zealanders nor good for our members, so we will be watching it closely,” Mr Cahill said. 

Back to listing