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New graduates boost Police numbers

26 May, 2004

New graduates boost Police numbers

The addition of 63 police officers to frontline duty across the country is a further indication of the Government's commitment to making New Zealand a safer place, Police Minister George Hawkins said today.

Mr Hawkins congratulated the members of Wing 223 who graduate today from the Royal New Zealand Police College in Porirua.

"Since 1999 Police staff has risen by more than 1100, from 8767 in 1999 to over 9900 this month. With the 265 positions to be created as the result of the $73 million addition to the Police Budget, Police staff numbers will for the first time top 10,000.

"The fact is that New Zealand's homes, communities and roads are safer today than they were in the 1990's and that is due to this Government giving Police the resources they need to do their job.

"The graduation of the 63 members of Wing 223 will further boost Police staffing levels around the country."

Thirty-seven of the graduates have been posted to Auckland, with eight going to Wellington, 15 to other North Island districts and three to the South Island.

"The ethnic and social make-up of today's graduates reflect the changing face of today's Police," said Mr Hawkins. "The average age is 29, reflecting the increasing maturity of recruits, and the Wing includes people with Maori, Pacific Island, Indian, European and East Asian heritage.

"Last year 43 per cent of Police recruits came from backgrounds other than 'New Zealand European' and that trend can only help Police relate to and communicate with the communities they serve."

Mr Hawkins congratulated all the new graduates, in particular Constable Glenn Olliver, who was awarded the Minister's Prize for First in Wing.

ENDS

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