Ninety-eight new Police constables will be deployed around the country with the graduation today of the largest single Police recruit wing in more than a decade.
Police Minister Stuart Nash has congratulated the new constables who passed through the final stages of their formal training at the Royal New Zealand Police College.
“The ninety-eight new constables of Recruit Wing 318 are the largest single cohort to graduate since 2006. They put a human face to the unprecedented investment in Police in this year’s Budget,” Mr Nash says.
“We set aside $300 million in new operating funding and $18 million in capital funding. It’s the first step towards our coalition commitment with New Zealand First to strive for 1800 extra Police officers and 485 new support staff.
“This is the eleventh recruit wing to graduate since this government took office and 786 new Police officers are deployed as a result. The extra officers will be 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.
“Last month the Commissioner of Police confirmed the allocation of the 1800 extra officers, with a particular focus on ensuring they were deployed to urban, provincial and rural centres around the whole country. The 98 recruits from Wing 318 will be deployed to all 12 Policing districts.
“There’s a great depth of talent and diversity in the new Police officers. Female constables make up 39 per cent of the wing, ten per cent are Maori, seven per cent Pasifika and nine per cent Asian. The youngest in nineteen and the oldest is 50. Sixteen officers were born outside New Zealand and share at least nine foreign languages between them. There are former sporting reps from New Zealand, Samoan and Australian national teams, and a strong tradition of volunteering in areas like search and rescue, firefighting, and supporting victims, youth groups and the elderly.
“The growing number of new officers allows Police to make real inroads into crime prevention in order to reduce victimisation, lower reoffending and bring down imprisonment rates. They help the government fulfil a key priority of its long-term plan outlined at the weekend, by building safer and more connected communities,” Mr Nash says.