Police Not Funded To Be On Duty When Crime Happens
Police rosters, exclusively released to New Zealand First under the Official Information Act, reveal that a penny pinching government is not funding police to be on duty when crime happens.
“The sad truth is that the thin blue line is not so much thin as non-existent for large parts of New Zealand during parts of the day and night,” says the Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of NZ First and Member of Parliament for Northland.
“It is no wonder why burglary is an epidemic, why dairies are being done over in the evenings and that pubs are being robbed on closing. It is because this government isn’t funding enough Police to be on duty at key times and criminals know it.
“The police roster data we have obtained shows that peak policing is generally between the hours of 7.00am and 5pm. This roster data covers all police stations in 15-minute increments from 11 December 2015 to 17 January 2017.
“As just a snapshot over the Christmas/New Year period it blows sky-high this government’s spin. We found ‘Peak Police’ was on 14 December 2016 at 2pm, with 4,658 officers on duty, but on 17 January 2017 at 3.45am, the thin blue line from Kaitaia to Bluff numbered just 238.
“Outside of Friday and Saturday nights, police coverage in the small hours was thin to non-existent. Sadly those targeting dairies, service stations and pubs know what the public doesn’t.
“When Northland’s GAS Paparoa was ram-raided early last Wednesday morning for just $40 and a RSA poppy box, the closest manned station might have been Dargaville 51 kilometres away. Yet Dargaville averaged just one officer on duty between 10pm and 3am - if that.
“In many respects the government’s planned increase in police, while welcomed as a start, is disingenuous. National knows a fair number won’t end up on the beat and those who do won’t be funded by the government to be out there when bad people get up to bad things.
“NZ First’s promise of 1,800 more police will not only return New Zealand police to the ratios we achieved when last in government, but we will fund and back police to be in our communities during unsociable hours when criminals commit their unsociable acts,” says Mr Peters.