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More police than ever following thursday’s grads

Alarmist Ryall wrong again: more police than ever following tomorrow’s graduation

Tomorrow’s [Thursday's] 78 graduates of Wing 210 from the Royal Police College at Porirua will bring New Zealand’s and Auckland’s police numbers to their higher level ever, Police Minister George Hawkins says.

“Despite National Police spokesman Tony Ryall’s best alarmist efforts, the truth is Auckland will have an extra 114 police by the end of the month,” Mr Hawkins said.

As at 31 May 2003, Auckland had 1951 sworn and 408 non-sworn staff. By the end of June that figure would change to around 2065 with the addition of 114 new staff. This included 40 of tomorrow’s graduates and 74 former police officers recently recruited from the United Kingdom.

Of tomorrow’s graduates 40 would be sent to Auckland’s three police districts, with Counties Manukau receiving eight, Auckland City 14, and North Shore Waitakere eighteen.

“This represents the Auckland districts’ highest tally ever,” Mr Hawkins said.

Mr Hawkins said in the last year more than half of the College’s graduates had gone to Auckland. Between 1 June 2002 and the end of May 2003, 207 of the College’s 405 graduates went to Auckland.

Police numbers had risen steadily during the term of the Labour-led Government to around 9559 personnel currently, including 7400 sworn and 2159 non-sworn staff.

This compared with New Year’s Day 1992, when under National, New Zealand had 5278 sworn and 1194 non-sworn staff, or a total of 6472 people in the police.

Mr Hawkins said in dealing with almost 68,000 calls nationally, the average urban priority response times was met in 63 percent of cases. New Zealand’s DNA database now stood at around 30,000, with funding in the recent Budget greatly improving support for this increasingly important policing tool.

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