Police underfunded despite rise in crime

Stuart Nash

Wellington, June 7, 2017

As crime continues to rise dairy owners are scared for their lives and communities reel under a record increase in burglary numbers, it has now been revealed that Police received less than three quarters of their bid in this year’s budget.

In answers to Budget 2017 questions, Police admitted that there was only one budget bid, and that was successful, but that it was less than 75% of that sought.

So, instead of community policing we are giving dairy owners money to put up grills and install duress alarms, when what would really put a halt to dairy robberies is more cops visible on the streets.

Cabinet papers also revealed that Police, backed up by then Police Minister Judith Collins, asked for 1165 more sworn officers at a cost of $555 million over four years in order to ‘change the trajectory of rising crime,’ but received only 880 more police and $388 million in funding. That is 285 fewer officers and a $167 million reduction in funding.

My real concern is that Police simply will not have the resources to really make a difference to the rising levels of crime and violence we are experiencing in our communities, so we are setting them up to fail, which is not only terrible, but irresponsible.

Rising robberies

In the past year, robberies are up 43% in Waitemata, 24% in Auckland City, and 18% in Counties Manukau.

This is why Labour listened to Police and promised 1000 more sworn officers in our first three years in government.

For nine years, National has failed to sufficiently support essential services across health, education and now police. It’s time for fresh thinking.

Labour has a plan which means working in partnership with the Police to really make a difference.

Stuart Nash is an elected Member of Parliament from Napier and Labour Party’s Spokesman on Police issues.

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