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Wellington Mayoral Candidate Slams Police Closures

Rob Goulden Wellington Mayoral Candidate Slams Police Closures

Mayoral candidate Rob Goulden who spent 22 years as a police officer has slammed the effective closure of two Wellington community police stations.

And Mr Goulden says the closures, announced to staff of Friday, can be directly attributed to a lack of support for the region by Mayor Kerry Prendergast.

Mr Goulden says he has been told by insiders in the force that they were called to simultaneous meetings on Friday afternoon at Johnsonville and Kilbirnie at 4.30 on Friday and informed that patrol staff will no longer operate from the stations.

"This is their effective closure. All they will have is a few Criminal Investigation Branch officers and they most definitely do not provide the kind of community policing that it needed in the areas.

"At a time when we have Auckland Mayor John Banks in full flight on the campaign trail claiming his success is attracting additional police to his city as a crime deterrent Wellington continues to suffer further reduction in policing."

Mr Goulden says in 1993 there were 419 police officers and staff in Wellington but today that number is down to 245 a reduction of 184 positions.

"It's no wonder they are having to close stations and leave the people of Wellington exposed to crime.

"And all we see our Mayor doing is moving to spend $650,000 of ratepayers money sponsoring 14 security officers. It's an absolute scandal. "

Mr Goulden says those still in the force can not speak out about what is going on but they are telling him what is going on and their inability to provide adequate policing.

"They are so busy having to do traffic patrol work and issue traffic tickets to keep revenue up that they just don't have time for prevention work and the closure of the Johnsonville and Kilbirnie stations for patrol work will hugely exacerbate the problem.

"We need a Mayor who will tell the Government and the Police Minister that enough is enough. Someone who will take a leaf out of John Banks book and start effectively fighting for their community."

ENDS

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