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Police stepping up dialogue with rural community

Police stepping up dialogue with rural community representatives

Police are stepping up their dialogue with the rural community given recent expressions of concern by Federated Farmers, the Deputy Commissioner of Operations, Steve Long, said today.

"The reality of rural policing is different from many of the perceptions out and about in the public domain. Crime rates are trending down throughout the country including districts with a heavy rural component. Nevertheless, Police acknowledge that with regard to community policing perceptions are as important as facts and figures.

"In acknowledgement of the need to step up our dialogue with the rural community's leaders I have asked Superintendent Viv Rickard of Northland to act as the Police Executive's liaison with groups like Federated Farmers.

"Superintendent Rickard comes from a district which is predominantly rural. He can caucus with other district commanders on issues and bring them directly to the Police Executive table."

Deputy Commissioner Long said the External Review of Police Communication Centres terms of reference was focussed on the centres operations and their interface with districts. The terms of reference did not cover service issues in the districts but commentary the review team might have would be applicable to rural as well as urban centres.

"Our analysis is that there is no need for a further review to be initiated at this time but we do acknowledge the need to step up our level of dialogue with rural leaders, hence the decision to elevate this responsibility specifically to a member of the Police Executive," said Mr Long.

In 2003/04 police set a target of attending priority 1 calls in non-urban policing areas within 30 minutes and achieved an 84% success rate. The average response time to attend priority 1 emergencies in these areas was 24 minutes.

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