Community partnership strengthens Police focus on safety

Mike Bush

From July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018 New Zealand Police responded to more than one million events, answered nearly 900,000 calls to 111 and conducted more than one and a half million breath tests.

All the work we do is driven by our mission to be the safest country in the world.

The announcement earlier this year of additional government funding to support the recruitment of 1800 additional officers and 485 support staff will make a massive contribution toward helping all New Zealanders be safe and feel safe.

Significant boost

Policing numbers across the country will receive a significant boost and this will enable us to increase our visibility and presence across the country.

We now have 348 more frontline staff than this time a year ago and the new staff we are recruiting are from diverse backgrounds thanks to focused recruiting efforts to better reflect the communities we serve.

Increasing diversity

Earlier this year we graduated the most ethnically diverse recruit wing in our history, in March we graduated a wing where the women outnumbered the men, and in October we saw a near-even split of men and women joining the frontline.

Just last month, we launched our latest recruitment video to support the recruitment of our 1800 new cops. If you are interest in becoming a cop visit www.newcops.co.nz

A lot of our work is done in partnership both with other government organisations and the community. Police cannot operate in a vacuum and the support and trust and confidence of our communities is vital to our work.

Awards promote amity

The recent 2018 Evidence Based Problem Oriented Policing Awards have highlighted how much more effective we can be when we all work together to keep our communities safe.

The Supreme Award winner was an initiative in which Police partnered with iwi to support communities affected by a large-scale drug operation.

It resulted in reduced reported offending and a significantly reduced gang presence in the community, while the community felt safer and had a renewed sense of trust and confidence in Police.

Preventing Crime

Another focus of our work is on prevention and preventing crime and victimisations.

Prevention First is the way we do business – taking every opportunity to prevent harm and problem-oriented policing is the evidence-based approach we use to achieve this.

We empathise with victims of robbery and burglary and understand the stress these incidents can cause, and we are pleased to report a downward trend in aggravated robberies of commercial premises.

Significant reductions in Waikato and Counties Manukau has contributed to the nationwide decrease.

Quiet October

No dairies, petrol stations, bars or liquor stores suffered an aggravated robbery in all of October, and just one petrol station was robbed in all of New Zealand during that time.

There have so far been 342 fog cannons installed in dairies nationwide. Eleven more small businesses are due to receive a fog cannon in the next few weeks.

Eight dairies have activated their fog cannons during actual robberies, and in all of these, the store attendant was unharmed and property loss was minimised.   

We are doing a lot of work to ensure everyone in New Zealand can access policing services – anywhere, anytime in a way that suits them.

This will bring real change to the way we work and the way we deliver our services, especially where people want to get hold of us in non-emergency situations. 

People wanting to report events such as lost property or damage to property will soon be able to do this online or via a single non-emergency number for the whole country. 

We will also have visible mobile police bases in every district. 

Modernising Service

We are committed to modernising and transforming our service as we work to achieve a future where there are fewer crimes and victims, less reoffending, fewer crashes, and stronger partnerships.

It is also a future where members of the public can more readily access Police services, contact us more effectively to report non-emergencies, receive community safety services and where criminals can expect there to be more Police on the street to help detect and prevent crime.

Mike Bush is Commissioner of Police based in Wellington.

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