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Police funding up $34m a year

Police will receive an extra $34m funding a year, Police Minister, George Hawkins, announced today.

The additional $34m funding, on top of the $95m provided over the last two years, increases the Police Vote from $847m in 1999-2000 to $960.8m for 2002-03, an increase of 11.8 per cent, Mr Hawkins said.

The package directs approximately $1m towards counter terrorism, $0.6m to youth initiatives and $2.5m to address issues in Auckland districts.

“Both operating and captial allocations have been calculated to ensure the organisation is back on an even keel, with appropriately remunerated staff supported by planned equipment and property replacement programmes,” Mr Hawkins said.

“The success of this approach is reflected in excellent operational results which include burglary rates at a 20 year low, overall crime at a 13 year low, and recent successful resolution of several high profile crimes,” Mr Hawkins said.

Significant progress had been made in the implementation of the Police’s counter terrorism capability, with additional or permanent staffing at six airports expected to be in place by the end of July.

New positions within the Office of the Commissioner relating to terrorism intelligence and investigation would shortly be advertised, Mr Hawkins said.

As well, advance visits setting up liaison officer positions in London and Washington had been completed, with successful candidates likely to be on the job in late July or August, he said.

Recruitment of up to 60 non-sworn staff to the three Auckland Districts continued, following an initiative announced in April. The initiative also included ongoing expenditure of $2.5m for additional support for front-line police and a second Auckland radio channel.

The ability of the Police to reduce youth offending and violent crime would be enhanced by a further $625,000 next year and subsequent outyears, Mr Hawkins said. Police would work with the Crime Prevention Unit, which had received a corresponding injection of funds, to develop programmes directed at

youth and violence in up to five high crime areas including South Auckland and Auckland city.

ENDS

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