Regions set to benefit from extra police

Drive 20/08/2018
Photo: File.

Police have announced where 1800 new police officers promised by the Government over the next three years will be located.

Around 1280 will be deployed to districts around the country with 200 focusing on preventing gang-related and drug-related crime.

The Eastern district will see the largest boost from new officers at 27 percent, followed by Northland which will see its police numbers grow by 25 percent compared to 2017 levels.

“Our organisation aspires for New Zealand to be the world’s safest country," said Police Commissioner Mike Bush.

The Police Commissioner told RadioLIVE Drive the additional 1800 officers, alongside 485 support staff, will "really enhance our work to keep people safe, and ensure they feel safe.”

Photo: NZ Police.

Roles of the 1800 new police officers:

  • 455 more in frontline emergency response
  • 325 more officers in prevention-focused positions working to help youth, prevent family harm and reduce repeat offending
  • 121 officers to establish new Precision Targeting Teams in every district to target serious and prolific local offenders to reduce burglary, robbery and other violence
  • 187 new investigators focused on current and historic complex cases including adult sexual assault and child protection
  • 500 national-level investigators and specialists to focus on organised criminal networks, national security, financial and cyber-crime
  • 146 investigators to make up Serious and Organised Crime Taskforces in every district  supporting local and national-level colleagues
  • 54 new Crime and Drug Prevention Officers - district-based positions working alongside organised crime specialists to provide pathways away from crime and addiction, including for the young and those on the periphery of gang life
  • 12 new permanent roles at the Police College to train and upskill officers

Commissioner Bush said there is a record number of applications to the police force. There are 340 recruits currently in training at the Royal New Zealand Police College, with 80 starting every four weeks.

Police say the standard for new recruits will not be lowered to help get enough new officers on the ground.

Listen to the full interview with Mike Bush above.

Drive with Ryan Bridge and Kate Rodger, filling in for Lisa Owen, 3pm - 6pm Weekdays and streaming live on 'rova' channel 9 - available on Android and iPhone.