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Quality graduates help Police numbers nudge 10,000

24 August

Quality graduates help Police numbers nudge 10,000

New graduates help push Police numbers to record level.

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Today's graduation of 63 new police officers pushes total Police numbers close to 10,000, Police Minister George Hawkins said today.

Wing 225 graduates today from the Royal New Zealand Police College at Porirua.

"The Government made a promise to increase Police and to make New Zealand a safer place to live in and that's exactly what we've done," Mr Hawkins said.

Since 1999 Police staff has risen by 1200, from 8767 to 9933 and the number of sworn officers has gone from 7027 to 7577. Over the same period, the number of crimes has fallen through the floor: down 36,000 last year alone.

Police will recruit an additional 260 staff this financial year, while Labour has pledged a further 250 community constables over two years.

"The simple fact is that New Zealand is now a safer place to live in than it was in the 1990s, when National cut Police numbers, and that is due to this Government giving Police the resources it needs to do the job.

"The graduation today of the 63 members of Wing 225 will further boost Police staffing levels around the country."

Mr Hawkins noted that the average age of the wing members is 30 and includes graduates with previous experience in the Army, Navy, trades, farming and even a professional golfer.

"In an increasingly tight job market, it is pleasing to note the quality of these graduates and the depth of life-experience many bring to the job."

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

The biggest contingent of graduates will head north, with 19 posted to the Auckland region. Eleven will go to the Bay of Plenty District and 15 to the South Island.

ENDS


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