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WOF changes will require more police

Media Release
For Immediate Release
28 January 2013


WOF changes will require more police


The decision to reduce warrant of fitness frequency for newer vehicles is welcome, but increased police roadside enforcement will require more staff – not just more money, Police Association President Greg O’Connor said today.

“Stopping and checking vehicles for WOF compliance can only be done by trained frontline police staff. However worthwhile this work might be, every additional hour they spend on it is an hour less spent on other frontline tasks – including speed and drink-driving enforcement, responding to and investigating crime,” Mr O’Connor said.

“NZ Police has capped constabulary police numbers, and is reducing its non-constabulary numbers due to budgetary pressures. There is no excess capacity in frontline road policing and general duties sections, yet these are the very staff who will be required to do this compliance work.

“Simply increasing the funding under the road policing contract with the New Zealand Transport Agency doesn’t fix that problem. Unless there is enough new funding to significantly increase police numbers, it is still a ‘zero sum game’. Officers will have to deliver the contracted hours. Meanwhile those without a contract – such as victims and complainants – are likely to see their service suffer.

“Unfortunately, we’ve seen in the past, when new policy requirements are imposed without the necessary increase in resources, business-as-usual police work such as investigation of fraud and historical child abuse complaints has fallen by the wayside. We would hate to see the same thing happen again,” Mr O’Connor said.

ENDS

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