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Thumbs Up For New Non-Emergency Number

27 June 2006

Thumbs Up For New Non-Emergency Number

Federated Farmers cautiously supports the concept of a new non-emergency phone service, said Charlie Pedersen, President of Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc).

Mr Pedersen was commenting on the Police’s announcement yesterday that it plans in November to demonstrate a new non-emergency phone service to reduce the volume of non-urgent calls handled by staff dealing with 111 calls.

“In 2004 Federated Farmers made a number of recommendations to the New Zealand Police External Communications Review, one of them being that an alternative national response number should be investigated to log lower priority calls and free up skilled staff and resources to deal with emergencies”, said Mr Pedersen.

“It is pleasing that this recommendation has been actioned. Ideally this service will encourage more people to report minor incidents and help in building up more detailed patterns on the nature of rural crime.

“It should remove the need for rural people to visit a physical location to report crime and ultimately reduce paperwork for rural police, letting them get on with the job of policing.

“This type of centralisation doesn’t come without risks. Our members remain concerned that if it is not specific enough to rural situations then it may cause further problems with response to rural crime and increase the problems with determining geographic locations.

“Federated Farmers will be watching closely to see how the demonstration project works in practice,” said Mr Pedersen.

ENDS

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