Only 12% of new police going to ‘front line’
Chester Borrows MP
National Party Police Spokesman
3 April 2008
Only 12% of new police going to ‘front line’
Police Minister Annette King should tell the public the real story behind the size of increase in police on the front line, says National Party Police spokesman, Chester Borrows.
“She’s been crowing for ages about how she’s boosting the number of ‘frontline’ police – in her own words, ‘responders, general duties’ staff – by 1,000.
“But it’s time she admitted what is really happening, in light of what frontline police themselves said this week in response to the 2007 crime statistics:
‘Despite the Government’s ‘1000 new frontline police’ promise, the reality is that in most areas real ‘frontline’ numbers – general duties shift staff and other primary response police units – have barely moved. Primary response units are the police officers that deal with violent crime and disorder. They are the police whose presence quells disorder and deters serious offending. It is no coincidence that violence and disorder offences are continuing to rise while frontline response staff numbers remain tight.’
“When the Police Association President Greg O’Connor shows such concern, we know there’s a severe credibility problem for the Government.
“And the figures seem to back that up.
“The Police response to select committee questions, and answers to written parliamentary questions, suggest that only a small proportion of the additional police is being posted to the front line.”
An answer to a written parliamentary question shows that only 45 (12%) of the 387 new ‘frontline’ police in the second tranche were to be ‘responders, general duties’. The police response to select committee questions shows 65 staff (20%) were to be posted to headquarters and service centres.
“The remainder were to go into youth and family, analysts, recruitment, support services, and investigation support – all worth areas of police work but, by the Minister’s own definition, they are not frontline police.
“The reality is that, despite what Labour has been saying, very few police have been added to the front line.
“National pointed out last year that only 32% of the first tranche went to the front line, and now it’s dropped to only 12% for the second tranche.
“That’s worrying, especially when this week’s statistics show violent crime has risen 12% since 2006 and 43% since Labour became the Government.
“It’s time Annette King told the public and the police the real story on frontline numbers.”
Attached: Police Association press release, answers to parliamentary questions
8496 (2007). Chester Borrows to the Minister of Police (21 May 2007): How many, if any, of the 1000 new police officers that the Government promised at the last election will be front line police?
Police Minister Annette King replied: I am advised that detailed staff allocations for the second and third years of the increase in Police staff numbers have not yet been completed. The allocation of additional sworn staff during the first year (2006/07) is shown on the attached table:
Allocation of 353 of the 1000 additional sworn staff
during the 2006/07
year of the 100 new sworn members Government promised at the last
Allocation Additional sworn
Frontline - responders, general duties
Road Policing related 38
CIB/investigation support 29
Other specialists 12
Community focused 40
Youth and Family focused 28
Organised Crime and related 17
Deployed offshore 3
Recruitment and staff support related 25
20045 (2007). Chester Borrows to the Minister of Police (04 Dec 2007): Further to the response to question for written answer 8496 (2007), have staff allocation for the second or third years of the increase of staff numbers been completed and if so, where will the additional staff be allocated?
Police Minister Annette King replied: I have been advised that the allocation of additional staff for the 2007/08 year is shown on the attached table. Details of the third tranche are currently being prepared as part of the 2008/09 budget process. Final decisions on allocations of these staff have not yet been made.
Additional staff allocation for the
Classification Sworn Non-sworn Total
Responders, General duties 44 1 55
Road Policing 49 6 55
CIB/Investigation Support 32 30 62
Community focused 86 0 86
Youth & Family
focused 44 0 44
Organised Crime 6 0 6
Prosecutors 4 4 8
Analysts/Intel/Deployment 7 6 13
Recruitment and Training 6 6 12
Support Services 8 28 36
Other 15 5 20
Total 301 86 387
(2007). Chester Borrows to the Minister of Police (05 Jul
2007): Further to her response to question for written
answer 8496 (2007), why were there 112 ‘frontline’ new
sworn staff in the 2006/07 year, when her press release of 8
December 2005 stated that there will be “1,000 more sworn
frontline staff” over the next three budgets?
Police Minister Annette King replied:The member fails to acknowledge staff other than general duties staff as frontline. "Frontline" also includes other police staff such as those involved in road policing, the CIB, community-focused work, young people and families, and those deployed offshore periodically.
15327 (2007). Chester
Borrows to the Minister of Police (31 Aug 2007): Further to
her response to question for written answer 11847 (2007),
can she confirm that the limitation of the term
‘frontline’ to 112 officers, and excluding those
involved in road policing, CIB and community work, was made
by her or her officials in response to question for written
answer 8496 (2007), and not by the questioner; if so, will
she now explain the difference between this number and her
statement in December 2005 that there would be “1,000 more
sworn frontline staff”?
Police Minister Annette King replied:The 112 staff in the answer to question for written answer 8496 (2007) are refered to as 'frontline - responders, general duties etc'. It was the member who incorrectly shortened this to 'Frontline'.