Frontline Police numbers increased
The number of frontline Police officers has been boosted by 78 with the graduation today of the latest recruit wing from the Royal New Zealand Police College.
Police Minister Stuart Nash says the new constables from Wing 330 will be deployed all over the country to focus on crime prevention and community safety.
“One of our top priorities is to improve the wellbeing of New Zealanders,” Mr Nash says.
“Today’s graduation means 1685 new Police constables have been deployed since the coalition government took office in October 2017. A further 220 aspiring Police officers are currently under training in other recruit wings.
“The officers graduating today will be deployed all around the country. Just over 29 per cent will go the greater Auckland area, and 21 per cent of the new constables will be deployed to frontline duties in the South Island.
“Many new officers will help to remove the most dangerous firearms from circulation during the buyback and amnesty. It is making the everyday job of Policing much safer. Every month Police are called to 200 crimes involving firearms. Every year up to 1000 guns are reported stolen from licensed owners. Many disappear into the hands of gangs.
“Today’s new constables will also tackle gang-related crime and work to reduce harm from drugs like methamphetamine. Police are also increasingly responding to mental health needs. They were called to 33,000 mental health incidents in the year to July, an increase of nine per cent on the previous year. The Budget increased support for frontline mental health services by $455 million.
“The coalition government has undertaken to strive for 1800 more Police. Today’s graduation means the number of fulltime constabulary staff is 9,732 officers. It is an increase of 893 officers, or almost 10 percent, since the start of the 2017/18 financial year.
“In Budget 2017 the previous government announced a target of 880 extra officers by June 2021. The coalition government has now surpassed that figure almost two years early. We will continue to invest in recruiting and training Police. We are committed to improving the wellbeing of New Zealanders and keeping our communities safe.”
The new constables will have a one-week break before starting duties on 7 October. They will be deployed as follows:
- Northland – 3
- Waitematā – 6
- Auckland – 7
- Counties Manukau – 10
- Waikato – 9
- Bay of Plenty – 5
- Eastern – 3
- Central – 7
- Wellington – 12
- Tasman – 1
- Canterbury – 9
- Southern – 6