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Govt ignores Auckland police plea for more staff

Govt ignores Auckland police plea for more staff

The Government has ignored the pleas of the Police Commissioner for a major staffing boost in Auckland, says National's police spokesman Tony Ryall.

Official papers stamped "Budget Secret" show the police sought funding for 170 extra officers for Auckland, yet Labour have only funded 56 over the next two years.

"This is proof that the Government is not taking Auckland's policing crisis seriously.

"Auckland police are struggling under huge workloads, increasing stress, low morale and spiralling violent crime. Auckland needs extra cops on the street preventing crime, but the Government won't give them the staff they need.

"The Government needs to listen to Auckland instead of the Treasury bureaucrats," said Mr Ryall.

The official papers show the Police Commissioner advised the Government:

* The emergency response rate of Auckland police districts is 45 - 55% within 10 minutes, compared to 75 - 88% elsewhere.

* A large number of police files with named offenders are not assigned to an investigator.

* There is little capacity to be proactive on DNA and fingerprint 'hits'. The Commissioner also warned the Government that failure to boost police numbers in Auckland would risk:

* Unmanageable workloads, increased stress and low morale.

* Unfavourable working conditions that may prompt even more staff to leave.

* Longer response times allowing more criminals to avoid apprehension.

* Failure to complete investigations in a timely way.

* Forcing staff to take shortcuts.

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