GOVT: Growth in police numbers enhances diversity

Stuart Nash and Constable Xavier Henare. Supplied photo.

Diversity in frontline police ranks has been enhanced by rapid growth in officer numbers over the past three years, says Police Minister Stuart Nash..

Nash presented awards to new constables from Wing 339 at the Royal New Zealand Police College in Porirua.

It's the 37th police recruit wing to graduate since the Coalition Government took office.

“The strong drive to recruit and train police has resulted in 2255 new officers joining the frontline since we took office,” says Nash.

“Combined with record low attrition, the size of the police constabulary workforce has grown by more than 1300 officers since the start of the 2017/18 financial year. There are now around 10,147 fulltime equivalent police."

He says this amounts to a 14.8 percent increase in frontline police over three years.

Attrition is tracking at around two per cent annually and is one of the lowest in the wider state sector.

“The rollout of new police has smashed all sorts of recruitment records and seen a historic return to police training wings in Auckland for the first time in 40 years.

“This marks a generational shift in police recruitment, training and deployment. It has changed the face of modern police and created a more diverse organisation that better reflects the communities it serves."

Nash says there are more women, more Maori, Pasifika and Asian Police officers on the frontline. They bring a diverse range of skills and competencies to modern policing, reflecting their age and backgrounds. Many of the new recruits speak multiple languages and already have impressive careers in other community service roles behind them.

“Almost half of the growth in the police workforce is made up of female officers. There are now 22 per cent more Maori officers, 41 per cent more Pasifika officers, and 85 per cent more Asian Police officers than at the start of the 17/18 FY.

“We are training police at more than double the rate of previous years. We are keeping up the momentum to improve community safety, enhance the wellbeing of New Zealanders, and grow a more diverse and inclusive Police organisation."

By the numbers:

  •   •  56 new constables graduate today from recruit wing 339. There are now approximately 10,147 fulltime equivalent (FTE) Police officers.

  •   •  It is an increase of approximately 1308 FTE constables, or 14.8% since the growth programme began at the start of the 2017/18 financial year.

  • At 30 June 2020, there were:
    •   •  2343 female fficers, an increase of 609 or 35% since 30 June 2017.

    •   •  7748 male fficers, an increase of 644 or 9% since 30 June 2017.

    •   •  1193 Mari officers, an increase of 219 or 22.5% since 30 June 2017.

    •   •  605 Pasifika fficers, an increase of 176 or 41 % since 30 June 2017.

    •   •  462 Asian fficers, an increase of 213 or 85.5% since 30 June 2017.

  •   •  Five new Police recruit wings, training 320 officers, are scheduled to start in the next seven months.


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