Staffing Re-jig Will Put Staff Where They're Needed, Says Simich

  • Clem Simich

Tue, 18 May 1999 Staffing Re-jig will put staff where they're needed, says Simich Proposed staffing changes within New Zealand's 12 Police districts are aimed at putting staff where they'll be most effective, says Police Minister Clem Simich.

"District Managers now have greater flexibility to allocate resources as they see fit," Mr Simich said. "They are the people best placed to determine how crime in their area should be fought, and how staff can be best deployed to achieve that."

"If a district manager feels crime reductions would be better achieved by shifting staff from one type of policework to another, then that's his call. So too if they feel crime in one city is generated from outlying towns, justifying more staff in those places."

"There is a clear rationale behind all of the proposed changes: to improve service to the public and reduce crime even further. It annoys me this is being portrayed as a cost-cutting exercise for political reasons, when in reality Police are repositioning staff so they can be more effective."

Mr Simich said it was being forgotten that New Zealand now had more Police than ever before - what was most important now is how they are allocated in order to reduce crime most effectively.

"It's also important to remember that the crime rate has been steadily declining since 1992. Both the Government and Police want to capitalise on that."

"What I'm most interested in is outcomes, and there should be no doubt that the number one aim is to fight crime more effectively. Police should not be afraid of doing things differently if it means better results can be achieved," he said.