Police recruitment drive takes another nose-dive
Simon Power MP
National Party Law & Order Spokesman
12 September 2006
King's police recruitment drive takes another nose-dive
The first two months of the Government's drive to recruit 1,000 extra frontline police has resulted in a net loss of 41 sworn officers, says National's Law and Order spokesman, Simon Power.
The Police Human Resources Scorecard for August reveals that the number of sworn staff fell from 7,559 at the end of June to 7,518 at the end of August.
"The recruitment campaign by Annette King and NZ First is, in fact, going from bad to worse.
"One month after the campaign started they had a net loss of 34 sworn officers, now they have a net loss of 41.
"After just 13 days, the Police admitted they were already below target and were moving onto a 'fallback plan'.
"First, they lowered the physical tests for new recruits and then announced they were going to recruit raw school leavers.
"Then last month, in a desperate bid to hide the fact that the campaign had stopped before it started, they quietly moved the start date from July 1 - as promised by Annette King in Parliament on May 10 and confirmed in a select committee on June 21 - to September 1.
"This looks like panic stations to me. Annette King must now be questioning the wisdom of promising so many extra police over three years just to get NZ First to support her Government.
"Labour has not been up front with the public about the difficulties they face recruiting new feet for the beat.
"They over-reached themselves in their rush to tie in Winston Peters and retain power at any cost and now they are going to struggle to deliver on their promises.
"Perhaps the Labour Government should have stuck to its guns when Helen Clark said in August last year: 'Some political parties are promising thousands of new police. Such promises are simply not credible'. "