New Waikato Police structure proposed
New Waikato Police structure proposed
Waikato District Commander Superintendent Win van der Velde says there are no planned cuts to staffing or service levels as the District proposes to make enhancements that will deliver a better service to the community.
As part of the Prevention First strategy, Police districts across the country are making a number of changes to the way they operate in order to provide better services to their communities and to take advantage of technology and other advances that have freed up more frontline Police resources.
This includes the establishment of centralised file management centres, the roll out of the Crime Reporting Line, which operates 24/7 for non-urgent crime calls and the establishment of deployment managers that will ensure staff are in the right place at the right time delivering the right service. It will also reflect the pending roll out of smart phones and tablets to frontline staff - which will reduce the need for officers to return to stations and allow for more operational time on the street.
“Since the Police Prevention First Strategy was launched in December 2011, there has been a significant shift in our approach, with the focus firmly on preventing crime and on stopping people in our communities from becoming victims, rather than the traditional way of operating, which was to react to offending after the event,” Mr van der Velde says.
“In keeping with that approach, we need to look for ways of doing things differently to capitalise on the extra resource that these changes have created, which has freed up our frontline staff so they can put more time into preventing crime and crashes and have a greater focus on the people in our communities.
“This means that in order for Waikato District to make the most of that extra frontline resource, the District has to be structured differently to how it is today. There is a need to refine reporting lines, roles and make other improvements so we can deliver excellent service and be consistent with other Districts,” Mr van der Velde says.
“Despite what has been said, the review we are currently undertaking is not about reducing staff numbers, but is about ensuring we have the right structure in place that allows our staff to deliver the right services to the right people in our communities at the right time.”
“This may mean there are some roles that change in scope or name, while some new roles maybe created and others relocated. Some other roles may also be disestablished and the staff resource invested elsewhere into other areas that are identified as needing a stronger focus, such as child protection.”
Mr van der Velde says there have been no cuts to the District’s budget.
“That being said, like all taxpayer-funded organisations, Police is looking to ensure the public we serve get the best possible value from the funding we receive, which means working smarter with the resources we currently have.”
Consultation on the proposals is currently underway with affected staff and the Police Guild and the Police Association. Other key stakeholders, including local mayors, iwi, and MPs were also contacted two weeks ago offering the opportunity to meet and discuss the proposals.
“I continue to stress that this is a proposal only and that no final decisions have been made,” Mr van der Velde. “The feedback of staff and the community will be key ingredients in helping shape what the future model will look like.
Mr van der Velde says the proposed new structure will involve all parts of the District to varying degrees. Some areas such as Intelligence and File Management have already restructured, although there may be refinement once the initial changes are complete. Other workgroups may be renamed, roles altered slightly, or reporting lines changed.
Consultation on the proposals closes on March 22.