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Streamlining of Police must be scrutinised

Kris Faafoi
Police Spokesperson

26 June 2013 MEDIA STATEMENT

Streamlining of Police must be scrutinised

Kiwis looking for their local police constable will have to hit the pavement as National pushes ahead with closures to community stations and reduces remaining offices’ hours, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Kris Faafoi.

News that Otara and Papatoetoe police stations will close so officers can be ‘out in the community at all times’ shows a push for the centralisation of services.

“It is essential we have more police out on the beat targeting and preventing crime. But if you live in a city like Auckland, proximity matters. Centralising services might cost the Government less, but it costs communities dearly.

“Auckland has been particularly hard hit by National’s closures with five police kiosks, one office and one station shut down since 2009. Today, if you live in Blockhouse Bay you will need to trek to Ponsonby to get to a police station.

“Station closures are not just limited to Auckland either. Public counters at three Hamilton sites have been closed and in the South Island Dunedin North station has shut its doors and South Dunedin has had its opening hours cut from five days a week to four.

“Since 2009, 11 stations have had their office hours cut across the country. If you run into trouble on a Tuesday in Orewa or on a Monday in Wainuiomata the local stations simply won’t be staffed.

“When communities are faced with closures like this, assertions that ‘police are more accessible than ever before’ seem a little far-fetched.

“Community policing is at the heart of our justice system. Local stations are often a centre for the community and many people, particularly older New Zealanders prefer to deal with their local cop.

“Local community policing must come ahead of cost-cutting measures, National has forgotten this,” Kris Faafoi said.

ENDS

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