Rural police aren’t being withdrawn - Stuart Nash

Morning Talk 07/12/2018

Police Minister Stuart Nash says rural communities will not lose any officers in the Government's new plans, but rather will get a more efficient approach.

The Government has come under fire for quietly scrapping plans for seven regional stations to be manned 24/7.

Mr Nash told RadioLIVE that the new plan doesn't mean police doesn't mean police won't be around. Rather than placed at a station at 3am, rural police will out in communities on patrol.

"Please don't think that by not having 24/7 that we're withdrawing policing," Mr Nash said. "Quite the opposite."

He emphasised that rural communities should feel safer knowing that the Government has committed to 1800 more police officers over the next three years.

But RadioLIVE's Mark Sainsbury wasn't convinced, and argued that 24/7 manned stations make people feel more safe and secure.

Please don't think that by not having 24/7 that we're withdrawing policing.

Mr Nash responded that manned stations aren't going anywhere, and will only be unmanned during the hours when it's best for police to be on patrol.

He argued that two officers on patrol is safer than having two officers sitting at a station.

The call for unmanned stations has been heavily criticised by National and Federated Farmers, who agree that it will leave rural communities vulnerable.

"Out in the provinces people are isolated and probably far more vulnerable than they are in urban settings," Federated Farmers rural security spokesperson Miles Anderson told The AM Show.

The affected stations will be Wellsford, Helensville, rural Tasman, rural Southland, Balclutha, Wanaka and Alexandra.

Listen to the full interview with Stuart Nash above.

Morning Talk with Mark Sainsbury, 9am - 12pm Weekdays and streaming live on 'rova' channel 9 - available on Android and iPhone.