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Auckland Police Initiatives Launch - Speech Notes

Hon George Hawkins

Auckland Police Initiatives Launch - Speech Notes

Auckland Policing Issues

- Welcome to you all, and thank you for taking the time to be here today. I know policing issues are an important priority for all of you and it’s a pleasure to be here with some good news to announce!

- The three Auckland police districts and in particular Auckland City District have been under pressure for a number of years, caused largely by a growing population, altered housing patterns and increasingly sophisticated criminal activity.

- I am regularly made aware of this pressure by both police and by local government representatives - in fact I recall the issue came up last time I addressed the Auckland Mayoral Forum, in October last year.

- This government is listening, and as you know we have already taken steps towards improving recruitment for Auckland, in particular the $1 million recruitment drive which began last year. That campaign has been weighted towards attracting Aucklanders into the police.

- Currently we have 240 recruits in the Police College - and 92 of those recruits will be working in the three Auckland Districts by the end of June. And we have around 70 more recruits destined for Auckland, due to enter the college in the next two intakes.

- I also want to mention that more than 100 additional police will be provided in Auckland for the America’s Cup, from September this year.

$2.5 Million Package for Auckland

- Today I am delighted to announce a $2.5 million funding package that will help to free up Auckland police for front-line duties.

- The package includes funding for:

- 60 additional non-sworn staff;

- A second radio frequency for Auckland city; and

- A “modern cadet” scheme to attract 17 to 21 year olds into police careers.

- I want to give you some more information about each of these initiatives, which have come about largely in response to suggestions and ideas put forward by Auckland’s three district commanders.

60 Extra Staff

- I often remind New Zealanders that our 7000 plus sworn police do a great job. And behind the scenes, helping them to get the job done, are over 1,950 non-sworn staff in a range of support roles.

- The extra 60 non-sworn staff that this package funds will provide extra support in five key areas:

- Crime Desk Services

The idea behind “crime desks”, manned by non-sworn staff, is to provide a “one-stop shops” to service the public . They are designed to improve responsiveness and police attendance.

- Case management Services

File management and file briefing support from non-sworn staff helps to ensure that investigations and prosecutions are handled efficiently.

- SOCO (Scene of Crime Officer) Support

Scene of Crime Officers in the field and in laboratories benefit from non-sworn assistants, who can allow them to deal more effectively with scene attendance and investigations.

- Operational Support

Non-sworn staff in administrative roles at police stations can deal with telephone and public enquiries, freeing up sworn staff for front-line duties.

- Communications Centre

Additional staff in the Communications Centre will improve call management and responsiveness.

Second Radio Channel

A second radio channel, dedicated to Auckland City, will ease congestion on the existing police channel. This change will improve the police’s ability to service Aucklanders.

Police Modern Cadet Scheme

- As I said earlier, we have stepped up recruitment efforts, and we do have a considerable number of men and women passing through the college who are destined for Auckland. But we always need to look towards the future.

- To further secure the inflow of Aucklanders into the Police I am delighted to announce today that we will be introducing a modern cadet scheme, to put younger men and women on the path to police training.

- Some of you may recall the historical police cadet scheme, which finished in 1982. In fact, some of the nation’s top cops today started their careers as police cadets - for example Auckland’s District Commander, Supt Howard Broad, Asst Commissioner Clint Rickards and President of the Police Association, Greg O’Connor.

- Details of the scheme are being finalised, and I hope to announce those details before the end of the year. What I can tell you is that there will be an emphasis on selecting candidates from Auckland, for Auckland.

- Thank you all for being here for these important announcements. I look forward to continuing to work with you as we strive towards an even safer Auckland.

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