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300 more police for South Auckland under National

John Key MP National Party Leader

20 October 2008

300 more police for South Auckland under National

National Party Leader John Key said today that a National Government will give a "priority boost" to Counties-Manukau police by committing 300 new sworn officers to frontline roles by the end of 2010.

"Only 210 (or 21%) of the 1,000 new sworn police recruited under the Labour-NZ First agreement have been posted to general frontline duties, and National wants to change that and deploy more to the front line.

"We will boost overall New Zealand police numbers so there is one officer for every 500 people, and we will keep this ratio as the population grows. This means training 600 extra police officers from January next year through to the end of 2011.

"National will ensure the tail-end of the current Government's extra 1,000 police are frontline personnel, and we will top up the numbers with additional recruits each year. We estimate that will mean a total of 600 extra officers before the end of 2011, of which 220 will be in addition to previous commitments.

"People in South Auckland deserve a police force that is better able to respond to crime and whose visible presence deters crime.

"Our plan will put 25 more patrol cars on to the streets of South Auckland within two years.

"By the end of 2011, a National Government will have put 50 extra police cars on to New Zealand streets.

"Under Labour, violent crime has soared by 47%. The cycle of violence, law-breaking, and disorder on our streets is robbing New Zealanders of their right to feel safe.

"National believes that the police are stretched too thin.

"In communities like South Auckland - where people are being killed or assaulted as they go about their daily lives - police need all the help they can get.

"For nine years, Labour has paid lip service to the citizens of Counties-Manukau while violence has soared by 65% - and yet it has the second lowest police-to-population ratio of any police district in the country.

"We need more police and we want more of them on the front line, targeting the offenders most likely to commit crimes, and targeting the places where crime most often occurs.

"Many of the initiatives in this policy will involve refocusing existing police resources on the front line.

"We will also allocate an additional $18.5 million each year to recruit, train, and employ the extra police required, over and above the current recruitment plan, in order to add a total of 600 officers. This will be funded from the allocation for new spending outlined in National's fiscal policy."

National will also:

* Roll out Canterbury's persistent offender programme, which targets crime families, to other districts, subject to a positive evaluation of the trial.

* Encourage police to develop and expand 'Reassurance Policing' programmes similar to the successful 'Broken Windows' approach.

* Ensure police work more closely with local communities to set and tackle local crime priorities.

* Ensure road safety policing concentrates on preventing accidents by focusing on those drivers and areas most at risk.

For National's Boosting Police Numbers paper go to:

http://national.org.nz/files/2008/policing_policy.pdf

ENDS

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