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Police Minister misleads over new police

Simon Power
National Party Law & Order Spokesman

10 May 2006

Police Minister misleads over new police

The Labour/NZ First Government is misleading the public over the extra police it said it would employ before the next election, says National’s Law & Order spokesman, Simon Power.

“There is a public expectation that there will be 1,000 extra police on top of the present 7,657 by the end of 2008, but latest figures suggest the target will be missed by a considerable margin.”

- The latest Police HR scorecard reveals that in the year to April, front line police increased by only 130, after 379 resigned or retired. Resignations increased by 22% and retirements by 83%.

- The number who started at Police College in 2005 was 20.5% lower than in 2002.

- The number of inquiries to 0800 NEWCOPS has dived by 22% - from 642 per month in 2003 to 498 in 2006.

“Annette King claims publicly that she will achieve her goal, but privately she knows she will not achieve it as long as the attrition rate stays anywhere near the 4.9% in the latest year.

“Even the Police Association estimates that at that rate of attrition they will need about 2,500 additional police to yield an extra 1,000 over the next three years.

“And hiring police from the UK is proving not to be the answer the Government was hoping it would be. Of the 76 recruited from there in 2003, only 51 are still in the Police, an attrition rate of one third. At that rate, of the 157 being recruited this year there will be only about 100 left in a couple of years.

“Perhaps if the Police started asking their staff why they are leaving they might be able to improve things so more stay.

“What all this means is that by the time the extra police are hired they will be merely replacing those who have left, and Labour and NZ First will have made little difference to the total number of police on the front line.

“It is no wonder the Labour/NZ First confidence and supply agreement was so vaguely worded in the first place.”


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