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Policing harder following 2014 Budget

Media Release

For Immediate Release
15 May 2014

Policing harder following 2014 Budget

Policing will be harder this year than last, following a cut in this year’s Budget, Police Association President Greg O’Connor said today.

“The Police budget has effectively been frozen since 2010. Now this year, Police are receiving around $40 million less to do the job than they spent last year. We are no longer frozen, we are going backwards,” Mr O’Connor said.

The budget for Departmental Output Expenses in Vote Police for 2014/15 is $1.461 billion. Estimated actual expenditure for 2013/14 was $1.506 billion.

“Cuts appear to be across the board, including key areas like road policing; prevention; and response policing. These are the services that matter to the public. Delivering them to the standards New Zealanders deserve is already hard enough. These cuts can only make it harder,” Mr O’Connor said.

“We have already had widespread restructuring and cuts to non-constabulary support staff. At the same time, costs continue to rise – police are affected by inflation just like everyone else. Every manager in Police will be looking at this budget with despair and wondering just what more they can do to make ends meet.”

Mr O’Connor acknowledged the political reality that both crime, and fear of crime, are low at present.

“Police may be victims of our own success to some degree. However it would be naïve of politicians to believe the good results will continue indefinitely, while the squeeze gets tighter and tighter. There is an increasing risk of operational failures, and fear of crime will quickly turn when police can’t respond or don’t get a response right,” Mr O’Connor said.

ENDS

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