1250 new police will reach $500 million
16 May 2006
The Government has committed a total of $164.3 million in operating costs and $52.3 million in capital costs over the next four years for the first tranche of the 1000 frontline sworn police and 250 non-sworn police promised under its confidence and supply agreement with New Zealand First. Of the new funding, $33.9 million is being funded from the National Land Transport Fund, and is specifically dedicated to road policing.
Police Minister Annette King says the extra police will be recruited over three years, with funding for the second tranche rolled out in Budget 2007 and the third tranche in Budget 2008. The first tranche includes 406 extra police, 50 of whom will be working in road policing.
Indicative operating costs for the other two tranches amount to a total of $223 million over the next four years, starting with next year's budget, and a total of $62 million in capital spending.
Ms King says the initiative is expected to cost $387 million altogether in operating costs over the next four years and $114 million in capital spending. "Such a considerable investment illustrates our commitment to safe communities. We don't just want a greater police presence in our communities, though that is clearly really important to make our families feel secure. We also have to make sure that we use the extra police as effectively as possible.
"That means a greater emphasis on evidence-based crime and crash policing so that we can reduce the number of victims, and I am really impressed with what's happening in different parts of the country in this respect. And it also means more emphasis on early intervention in our communities, because the more we can prevent crime and crash happening, the better for all of us."
Ms King says she does not underestimate the difficulties involved in recruiting so many extra police, adding about 12.5 per cent to police numbers. "NZ Police is a great career, however, and I strongly believe there are many hundreds of fine New Zealanders who will want to serve their communities in this way."