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Issue No. 412 April 2017

Investment for safer communities

Rural areas will get an increased level of support.

The Government’s $388 million Safer Communities investment in policing will put more officers into every district, allow more police bases to operate 24/7 and boost the fight against organised and transnational crime.

This month Commissioner Mike Bush announced details of how the 880 constabulary staff funded by the Safer Communities package will be deployed.

The full allocation of 245 new non-constabulary members is to be decided - but organised crime and recruitment will receive early additional support.

Around 220 extra constabulary staff a year will be recruited. A third recruitment hub will be established in Bay of Plenty District to focus on eastern areas and Northland, allowing the Auckland hub to concentrate on Metro Auckland.

Training resources are being scaled up for the surge, with the Royal New Zealand Police College (RNZPC) receiving 31 extra constabulary staff in Year 1 (2017/18) and effectively doubling its throughput over four years.

Wing 308, starting 10 July 2017, will be the first to include recruits funded through Safer Communities. District Commanders and leadership teams will decide where new staff go within districts.

Over four years:

  • All districts will get new staff, ranging from 101 (Waikato) to 24 (Tasman) – see table;
  • 140 extra positions will be created in rural or regional roles;
  • 20 rural bases will become operational 24/7 (see table);
  • 80 extra constabulary staff will be dedicated to fighting organised crime;
  • 66 extra staff will go into family harm; 74 into child protection and adult sexual assault; and 20 into ethnic liaison teams;
  • 12 new mobile police bases will be launched;
  • A single non-emergency number and online crime reporting line will be developed.

Considerations in deciding allocations included projected population growth, geography and changing patterns of crime and demand for police services.

All Police Districts will receive more constabulary staff
Photo: Al Guthrie

In February the Safer Communities Cabinet paper indicated how the extra resources would be used: responding to crime in the community; regional and rural policing; national non-emergency number; organised crime taskforces; child protection; sexual assault and family harm; increased Eagle helicopter operation; ethnic liaison officers; and managing offenders and reducing reoffending.

The rural investment will contribute to a target of 95 percent of New Zealanders living within 25km of a 24/7 Police base by 2022.

This means staff are patrolling or on duty, not that there will be a 24/7 counter service.

“Our model shows that number is currently at around 88-89 percent so we have some work to do,” says Commissioner Bush.

The stations to be upgraded to a 24/7 response capability during Year 1 are Kaitaia (Northland), Matamata (Waikato), Wairoa (Eastern) and Rolleston (Canterbury).

Up to 40 of the extra regional and rural officers will form a Rural Duties Officer Network, focused on building strong local networks and supporting rural communities.

“We recognise that regional communities have different pressures and concerns and feel safer if they know a 24/7 police response is nearby,” says Commissioner Bush.

“The 20 new 24/7 response bases will bring more than 200,000 New Zealanders closer to a local police presence over the next four years.”

Allocation of new non-constabulary staff will take place in Years 1 and 2. In Year 1, 37 are allocated to support roles in critical functions such as recruitment, training, organised crime and gangs. Most recruiter and trainer positions will become available for redeployment into the front line in Year 4.

A new transformation programme known as Safest Country – Policing 2021 will bring together existing Policing Excellence the Future and Police High Performance Framework programmes with the Safer Communities package.

Bases with an operational 24/7 response

2017/18 2018/19 2019/20 2020/21
Kaitaia Kerikeri/Kaikohe* Dargaville Marton
Matamata Warkworth/Wellsford* Helensville Alexandra
Wairoa Taumarunui Stratford Southland Rural*
Rolleston Te Kuiti Motueka Tasman Rural*
  Waipukurau/Dannevirke* Wanaka  
  Thames    
  Balclutha    

*Decision on locations yet to be made

 

New constabulary recruit allocations by year

 
17/18
18/19
19/20
20/21
Total
Northland
20
16
10
20
66
Waitemata
17
21
16
19
73
Auckland City
15
21
16
20
72
Counties Manukau
25
23
20
23
91
Waikato
24
22
22
33
101
Bay of Plenty
15
12
17
25
69
Eastern
19
16
13
20
68
Central
14
15
20
18
67
Wellington
10
11
21
20
62
Tasman
5
5
5
9
24
Canterbury
10
18
20
22
70
Southern
4
10
10
13
37
Organised Crime
10
30
30
9
80
RNZPC
31
-
-
-
31*
Total
220
220
220
220
880

Indicative allocations. Future operational demands may affect numbers.
*Estimate – positions for redeployment as demand falls

Tackling organised crime – next page


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