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Use Horses For Courses Says Security Industry

Use Horses For Courses Says Security Industry

The New Zealand Security Association has come out in support of the growing number of people who say the pressures on police could be lessened by a policy of “horses for courses”.

“You wouldn’t send out a thoroughbred to plough a paddock. Why would you insist on a pressured police officer doing a job such as guarding a crime site, when the work could be contracted out to a licensed security officer,” says New Zealand Security Association Executive Director Barrie Cooper.

“I certainly don’t want to downplay the hugely important role security officers have to play. Rather, we want to see resources applied where they are most appropriate and a licensed, fully trained security guard can make an enormous contribution to easing the burden on New Zealand’s stretched police force,” Mr Cooper says.

A recent article in the New Zealand Herald quoted Auckland Chamber of Commerce chairman Michael Barnett as saying police might have to consider private contractors to investigate crimes they do not have the resources to look at.

A police report indicates one in five crimes in the Auckland City district isnot being investigated because Police are under-resourced.

“There is no doubt Police are struggling to keep pace with mounting crime – and not just in Auckland,” Mr Cooper says. “Many of the New Zealand Security Association’s members were formerly police officers, they are fully trained in crime scene investigation and could assist Police in the more time consuming aspects of this work.”

He says already there are some companies working with Police, but he sees further scope for such partnerships.

“It’s not about security officers taking over police work. It’s about assisting them to carry out their duties. While delegating guarding a crime scene to a security person, a police officer could be doing other work more suited to their training and skills. “

Mr Cooper says this kind of partnership between the public and private sector is becoming more and more the norm internationally as developed countries such as the United States, Great Britain and Australia all experience pressure on their law enforcement requirements.

“It’s all about being smarter in using the resources that are available,” says Mr Cooper who says it is up to the Police to identify those providers who can give the right kind of support.

“It’s important for everyone that the people the Police choose to work with are properly trained, licensed and members of the New Zealand Security Association to ensure they adhere to appropriate rules and codes of practice,” Mr Cooper says.

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