New Police 'Surge' For Whanganui Only A Trickle

New Zealand First says it is no wonder Whanganui crime is out of control with the government’s much touted “surge” of extra police barely a trickle.

“Most people know crime is getting out of hand and Police CARD (Communications and Resource Deployment system) data reveals over 7,000 burglaries were reported in Whanganui between 2006 and June 2016,” says New Zealand First Leader and Member of Parliament for Northland, Rt Hon Winston Peters.

“This shows the government’s promise of 67 new police for the entire Central Police District is not even close to what is needed. We are talking about a vast area from the North Taranaki Bight, across to Ruapehu then south to Otaki and right across to the Tararua ranges.

“National’s slow boat to extra police means that if the people who live there are lucky, they may see 14 of these new police on duty by mid-next year.

“Yet a fair number will be hoovered up by National’s weak-kneed liberal approach to law and order. National has lifted the age of criminal responsibility. That’s one example of doing the opposite to what is needed.

“How many new police will make it onto the frontline is one question. The next is whether National is funding police to be on the streets when crime happens. The police rosters we have, for 11 December 2016 to 17 January 2017, do not make good reading. 

“Either there’s a lot of crime in Whanganui between 7am and 5pm, or this government is penny pinching when the people who live there most need police.

“On 14 December last year, at 2pm, 106 police were on duty – Whanganui’s ‘Peak Police’ on the rosters we have. Contrast that with 10 January 2017 when, between 2.45am and 6am, a solitary officer was covering 10 towns from Waiouru to Whanganui.

“It’s a similar story with the number of police dog handlers in the Central Police District. A peak of six handlers being on duty was reached over several days in December but worryingly, this fell away to none being on duty at certain times.

“New Zealand First says 1,800 police are needed throughout New Zealand urgently to get policing back on track but those police need to be on duty when crimes take place,” says Mr Peters.