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Police recruitment numbers still in negative

Simon Power
National Party Law & Order Spokesman

23 October 2006

Police recruitment numbers still in negative territory

The first three months of the Government's drive to recruit 1,000 extra frontline police has resulted in a net loss of 14 sworn officers, says National's Law and Order spokesman, Simon Power.

The Police Human Resources Scorecard for September reveals that the number of sworn staff fell from 7,559 at the end of June to 7,545 at the end of September.

"Despite the hype from the Government about police numbers, this shows the recruitment campaign by Annette King and NZ First is going nowhere, unless they can stem the flow of experienced officers leaving.

"They have been in negative territory since the campaign started on July 1.

"What must be concerning is that the number of 'send information' requests to the 0800 NEWCOPS inquiry line in September was the lowest monthly total in at least a year – about 250 for the month versus a high of more than 600 in May.

"The last time the number of serious requests was down that low in the 200s was September 2003.

"Annette King must now be seriously questioning the wisdom of promising so many extra police over three years just to get NZ First to support her Government.

"Labour has not been up front with the public about the difficulties they face.

"They over-reached themselves in their rush to tie in NZ First and retain power at any cost and now they are going to struggle to deliver on their promises.

"They should be basing their recruitment policy on a proper analysis of going after the number of sworn police that we need, not some magic number plucked out of the air for political purposes.

"Perhaps they should have stuck to their guns when Helen Clark said in August last year: 'Some political parties are promising thousands of new police. Such promises are simply not credible'. "

ENDS

For Police HR tables go to: http://www.national.org.nz/files/power_hrsept.pdf

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