Police recruitment well on track, says King
Police recruitment well on track, says Annette King
The new police recuitment wing ( Wing 237), which began training at the Royal New Zealand Police College at Porirua yesterday, is a full-strength wing of 80 recruits, says Police Minister Annette King.
Ms King says the success of recruitment for the wing gives the lie to "knockers" who claim that the Government's drive to recruit 1000 more sworn police and 250 non-sworn over the next three years, in line with its confidence and supply agreement with New Zealand First, is already failing.
"The truth is that the recruitment drive is anything but failing, even though the knockers want that to happen. I have always said it will be a challenge to recruit that many more police, but the results so far have been really pleasing, and that is the case without a major recruitment advertising campaign having started yet."
Ms King says that in the past nine months NZ Police has recruited more staff than in any other full calendar year. "This intake of 80 recruits brings the total number of recruits for 2006 to 680 and there is still one more wing to follow this year. It is anticipated that this will bring the total number of recruits for 2006 to over 750.
"That encourages me that we can reach our target of having 1000 additional sworn police officers by 2009. That must make all our communities safer for New Zealand families," she says.
"It is even more pleasing this wing's recruits reflect the recruitment drive's target groups. Thirty four percent are female, 11 percent are Pacific and over 50 percent are from Auckland and will be placed in Auckland districts when they graduate. The wing will enhance NZ Police's ability to be more representative of, and effectively serve, New Zealand's increasingly diverse communities."
Ms King says Auckland-based recruitment activity has increased over the past year. "The large proportion of Auckland recruits is a sign that this activity in the city is paying off."
"And it is equally pleasing that the increase in numbers has not led to reduced standards, as the knockers also claim. A recent NZ Police study indicates that results of this year's recruits in entrance tests are on average higher than in previous years."