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Cop numbers fall behind population growth

The ratio of police officers to members of the public is falling, making the job of policing this country even harder, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash. 

“As crime increased last year, the number of police officers fell by 15 while New Zealand’s population rose by 78,000.

“Since 2008, the number of police officers has increased by just 274 while New Zealand’s population has increased by 274,000. 

“That’s just one extra police officer for every thousand additional Kiwis. John Key and Judith Collins promised to fund better than one officer for every 500 New Zealanders but, once again, they’ve failed to deliver. 

“National has funded only half the additional cops needed to keep up with population growth. 

“This is not enough when the number of assaults and burglaries are mushrooming. In the past year, there was a 6 per cent rise in assaults and a 14 per cent rise in burglaries. 

“This is putting a huge stress on the police force who have been told there will be no staffing increases until 2020. 

“Judith Collins has to back our boys in blue and make sure we have enough police to keep our communities safe,” says Stuart Nash.