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Record police resources deliver record results

19 May 2005

Hon George Hawkins - Minister of Police

Record police resources deliver record results

A record Police budget will deliver a record number of Police staff throughout New Zealand, Police Minister George Hawkins said today.

"This government will continue to deliver on its commitment to safer communities with an increase to the Police budget for 2005-06 of $73.6 million," said Mr Hawkins. "The four-year amount of new initiatives approved in this budget is $172.9 million.

"This government has increased funding to Police every year since 1999 – an increase of over $200 million in six years.

"Increased resources have given Police the tools to deliver the lowest crime rates and road tolls in decades. The crime rate is at a level last seen in 1982, Police are solving more crimes than at any time since 1987 and the road toll is down to levels last seen in the 1960s."

Key features of the 2005-06 Police vote:
- 2005-06 Police vote rises to $1.03 billion, an increase of $73.6 million over 2004-05 and $282 million more than 1999-2000.
- The total over the next four financial years of new Police initiatives is $172.9 million.
- The funding should provide an estimated additional 245 positions in the 2005-06 year, taking Police numbers to over 10,000 for the first time.
- The Commissioner has been given flexibility to deploy as many new frontline staff as he can. The funding should enable the employment of up to 100 additional sworn officers and 20 non-sworn staff.
- An additional four-year investment in communications centres of $45.5 million will provide around 100 additional staff to field calls from the public and monitor, dispatch and support field operations. It will allow for more staff training and bolster quality assurance and other management support. [Announced last week.]
- A further boost to Police youth services capability, allowing Police to introduce more youth aid staff and provide better supervision of youth service operations. The funding will also allow deployment of six more of the successful youth development projects.
- There will be more resources to support the Police's organised crime capability, including additional staff.
- An increase in baseline to cover increased operating costs.
- Capital injection to support a range of items, including an improved system of fingerprint recording through digital technology, an operational rifle replacement and stab proof vests for frontline officers.

"Police had identified a number of areas for priority spending as a result of the independent review into the operation of communications centres," said Mr Hawkins.

"I am confident the amount of extra funding being channeled into communications centre staffing will satisfy those requirements and restore public confidence in the 111 system.

"Police have achieved exceptional results over the last six years, including a record 8.2 per cent reduction in the crime rate. The addition of around 120 staff for frontline duties will serve to strengthen Police capability in the community.

"With this further significant increase to Police numbers and resources New Zealanders can be reassured that our homes and roads will be even safer."

ENDS

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