Labour will answer community policing concerns
"It is not a new concern but has been building over the last nine years. Local bodies are frustrated over crime levels and say policing has gone off the boil. They see the loss of experienced police officers, remaining staff weighed down with paperwork and unable to respond to crimes like burglary and car conversion, and community policing under threat from the Police Review.
"It is not surprising that the Mayors want a greater say in policing. The New Zealand police force is an invaluable asset to every community, if effectively utilised.
"That is why Labour's Plan to Cut Crime, released in March this year, focuses on allowing the police force to use its resources to best effect, with increasing community involvement.
"The next Labour Government will deliver a performance-focused police force, with a new system of crime reduction targets. These targets will be specifically concerned with catching criminals and solving crimes, with the community involved at a local level to prioritise areas of particular concern. Local police commanders will be authorised to deploy police accordingly.
"Labour will establish a Community Safety Office (CSO), an independent review unit which, in consultation with communities, will allow community feedback and input regarding the strategic direction of policing. This will ensure that local priorities are set locally, with community involvement, and that communities will see their concerns targeted in their neighbourhoods.
"The Mayors have identified a major flaw in the National Government's approach to policing - a requirement to cater to the particular needs of particular regions, cities, towns or suburbs.
"Labour will provide new means to ensure that the police service matches the needs and priorities of individual communities," George Hawkins said.