Wellington, August 29, 2018
Extra Police Officers will be deployed around the country with the graduation today of 60 new constables from the Royal New Zealand Police College.
Following is a Statement issued by Police Minister Stuart Nash.
Focus on Safety
Crime prevention and community safety is the focus of the new recruits from Wing 317.
This is the tenth Wing to graduate since the government took office in October last year. There are 668 new Police officers deployed around the country as a result.
Earlier this week, the Police Commissioner confirmed allocation of 1800 extra officers we are striving to deliver as a result of the Coalition agreement with New Zealand First.
Each graduation ceremony is another step towards that goal.
In addition, we are funding an extra 485 back office support staff.
Low Attrition rate
The 1800 extra officers are over and above the attrition of current Police. The attrition rate in Police is around five percent per annum and is one of the lowest in the wider state sector. The extra frontline officers will go a long way to reducing stress and pressure on the current Police workforce.
Workplace surveys show that our Police Officers are dedicated to the job but are worried they are not able to meet the promises they make to the public.
These extra resources will support them in their goal of making New Zealand the world’s safest country.
Talent and Diversity
I am delighted with the talent and diversity of Wing 317.
There is another strong cohort of female constables at 38% of the Wing. Nineteen officers were born overseas and between them speak around a dozen foreign languages. The youngest recruit is 19 and the oldest is 45. One has the distinction of playing in the Ranfurly Shield-winning Hawke’s Bay rugby team, another is a fine musician who has performed with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra.
There are former members of the armed forces and others who have done valuable volunteer work in the Fire Service, Search and Rescue teams, surf lifesaving and for Women’s Refuge. We are fortunate to have new recruits who reflect the diversity and character of the wider New Zealand population.
The recruits from Wing 317 will be deployed from Northland to Southland, with the largest single allocation of 12 officers going to Canterbury.
There is currently a Police graduation ceremony every four weeks.
Wherever the new recruits are deployed, they allow Police to make real inroads into crime prevention in order to reduce victimisation, lower reoffending and bring down imprisonment rates.
I also wish to thank the Patron of Wing 317, Sir David Carruthers for the advice and mentoring he has offered recruits.
During his long career in the law Sir David has been a tireless champion for restorative justice, reducing crime, and acknowledging the voice of victims.
Photo of Stuart Nash from File