More police deployed to frontline
More Police are being deployed to the frontline as a new wing of officers graduate from the Royal New Zealand Police College.
Police Minister Stuart Nash says the 61 new constables in Wing 334 have one focus: crime prevention and community safety.
Six of these officers will work in the Bay of Plenty.
“The graduation of the latest wing of officers means 1,964 new Police have been deployed since the Coalition Government was formed,” Stuart says.
“We are training Police at more than double the rate of previous years. During 2019 we deployed 854 new Police, an all-time record. Average police deployments before we took office were around 363 per year.
He says extra police are now needed more than ever, due to the introduction of a new family harm legislation in December 2018 which led to an increase in the number of serious assaults reported to Police in 2019.
“Family violence is notoriously under-reported and Police are working hard to make a difference for victims and to prevent re-offending by perpetrators,” he says.
“There is also increasing demand for Police to respond to callouts that aren’t crimes, like mental health and road policing. Every year there are around 33,000 mental health callouts, 25,000 suicide-related callouts, and 340,000 traffic incidents and crashes.
He says “complex areas” like family harm, mental health and drug addictions all have a bearing on the offending figures.
“They require a lot of resources from Police and the wider network of government and community agencies working together to make a difference.
“We are slowly building up these services again after inheriting a run-down system. Thirty years of locking people up and ignoring the factors that cause offending in the first place have failed to make a difference. Transforming our criminal justice system will take time.
This graduation means the number of full-time Police has increased by around 1,104 officers since the start of the 2017/18 financial year, he says.