A new record for the number of Police officers deployed to the regions in a single year has been created with the graduation today of Recruit Wing 326.
Police Minister Stuart Nash says the graduation of 78 new constables means a total of 831 new frontline Police have been deployed to communities around the country during the 2018/19 financial year.
“The previous highest number of new Police in one financial year occurred 21 years ago when 683 officers graduated during 1997/98,” says Mr Nash.
“Since the Coalition Government was formed 1,367 new recruits have graduated from the Police College at Porirua and from two innovative training wings in Auckland. It is the first time since the 1970s that recruits have trained in Auckland.
“During the next financial year there will be a record five Police training wings in our largest city. We are stepping up training there in response to feedback from aspiring recruits. The course is non-residential so recruits can return home every day.
“Following the events of March 15th we are responding to unexpected new demands for national security, crime prevention and community safety.
“The Wellbeing Budget contains more than $260 million in new initiatives for Police. Thanks to this new investment, Police can strengthen controls on the use of firearms. They will be able to take the most dangerous weapons out of circulation and begin the next stage of reforms to reduce the risk of firearms falling into the wrong hands.”
The new initiatives for Police include:
- $168 mill for payments and administration of the gun buyback scheme;
- $41.8 mill to tackle family violence;
- $5.86 mill for victim video statements;
- $37.19 mill to provide all emergency services (Police, Fire, Ambulance) with state of the art new digital communications capabilities and to ensure the integrity of the current system in the interim;
- $8.778 mill for other initiatives across the wider justice sector, such as mental health, addiction and alcohol and drug programmes.
“In addition we are making a substantial investment of $455 million in frontline mental health services. Police officers have been under pressure because a lack of health resources meant they were the first line of response to mental health needs. Improving mental health care is one of our long-term challenges,” Mr Nash says.